Spain: Police Seize Speedboats Allegedly Used for Drug Trafficking
Off the coast of the Spanish city of Cadiz, the National Police have seized nearly 30 speedboats they say belong to a drug trafficking organization that was headed to Moroccan waters to load the boats with hash.
Nineteen people have been arrested in the operation, carried out on Monday by the Spanish police and the Spanish Tax Agency.
The Special Groups Response to Organized Crime (GRECO) of the Costa del Sol had been investigating the organization for months. Police say it is made up of several drug dealing groups.
Three weeks ago, a video was uploaded to YouTube depicting various speedboats, allegedly carrying drugs. The video sparked public criticism of the apparent impunity with which smugglers act, even with police on their trail.
According to the local newspaper El Pais, the boats travelled through the Guadarranque River into the sea and approached Moroccan waters, where they picked up the hash from mother ships.
Each 50-foot boat is capable of carrying more than a ton of hash, which police say they were to unload in several different places along the coast of Andalucía.
About half of the hash that enters the Iberian Peninsula comes in through the Cadiz coast. According to the Ministry of Interior, in 2012 Cadiz placed first in hash dealing, with authorities seizing 170 tons of the drug.