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The Guardia Civil intercepts a boat with 700 litres of fuel on board in the waters off Águilas (Murcia)

The Guardia Civil intercepts a boat with 700 litres of fuel on board in the waters of Águilas
Three people, with previous drug trafficking offences, have been arrested as alleged perpetrators of smuggling offences.

The Civil Guard of the Region of Murcia, in the framework of the operation ‘Flask’, has developed an investigation aimed at clarifying the possession of 28 bottles of fuel by the crew of a high-powered boat, in the waters of Águilas, which has culminated in the arrest of three people, as alleged perpetrators of smuggling.

The operation has culminated in the seizure of 700 litres of fuel, valued at more than 1,200 euros, and an inflatable boat, 7 metres long and with a 300 horsepower engine, according to sources from the Benemérita in a statement.

The investigation began when civil guards of the Benemérita’s Maritime Service, while carrying out their own tasks in the waters of Águilas, detected the navigation of a suspicious boat.

On approaching the boat, its skipper began a flight manoeuvre, fleeing at high speed, which is why he was followed by the officers who managed to catch up with him and board him, despite his continuous evasive manoeuvres.

The civil guards found that the boat was carrying 28 canisters of fuel, while the crew members did not give a coherent explanation as to their origin or destination.

Once transferred to the port of Cartagena, civil guards specialised in Judicial Police carried out an exhaustive examination of the boat, which revealed that its engine was well over the maximum permitted horsepower, which is why it was seized.

The three crew members, with previous drug trafficking offences, were identified as residents of Murcia and Almería, aged between 19 and 52.

The subsequent investigation has allowed us to determine that those arrested could be linked to a criminal organisation dedicated to the introduction of drugs by sea.

FLOATING PETROL STATIONS
The main hypothesis is that police pressure on the maritime strip of the Strait of Gibraltar has led criminal groups to look for alternative coasts, in order to smuggle drugs further north, which means a greater distance to cover and greater fuel consumption.

To supply these vessels, they apparently use high-powered boats in which they load drums of petrol, which they then supply on the high seas in the form of floating petrol stations.

Operation ‘Flask’ has culminated in the arrest of three people, as alleged perpetrators of the crime of smuggling, and the seizure of a seven-metre long boat, with a 300 horsepower outboard engine; and 28 jerry cans, with a total of 700 litres of fuel, valued at 1,200 euros.

The detainees, the effects seized and the proceedings have been placed at the disposal of the Court of Instruction number 3 of Cartagena (Murcia).

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