PRESS RELEASES

53-17 INTERNATIONAL MULTI AGENCY DRUG TRAFFICKING OPERATION

At about 1900hrs on Monday 27th March 2017, the Royal Gibraltar Police and HM Customs working in conjunction with American law enforcement, namely the Drugs Enforcement Administration (DEA), and with the assistance of the Gibraltar Port Authority, conducted an intelligence led policing operation in the Bay of Gibraltar.

A total of 34 officers from both agencies boarded the vessel Mount Faber whilst at anchor in the bay.  The vessel is A 280 metre long bulk carrier currently sailing under the Liberian flag with a displacement of 89,603 tons.

Intelligence in possession of the Royal Gibraltar Police suggested that the vessel may have been carrying a shipment of illicit drugs concealed in what is termed as a parasite container attached to exterior of the hull under the water line.

The search of both the vessel and the exterior of the hull, the latter conducted by specialist underwater contractors, has stretched over the course of yesterday afternoon and all day today.  It has necessitated officers remaining on board the vessel overnight and has an extremely complex task, both from an operational and logistical point of view.

On completion of the search operation the container was brought ashore at the Gibraltar Government Marine Station.  After all the necessary forensic examinations were conducted by members of the RGP’s Crime Scene Investigation Unit the container was opened and approximately 108kg of Cocaine was found concealed inside the container.  The seizure has an approximate street value of 6.5 million pounds.

In addition to the drugs seized the Master of the vessel, the Chief Engineer and a crewman have been arrested.

Although a significant amount of drugs have been seized, notwithstanding the size of the vessel, the importance of the operation is not constrained to the value of the drugs seized.  The more significant and added value is the level of disruption that law enforcement operations such as these cause to the; integrity, structure and effectiveness of international criminality and the organised crime groups that are involved in these clandestine and illicit activities.  These operations also provide a very valuable disruption of the trafficking routes available to these organisations.

Over the last several months members of local law enforcement agencies have demonstrated their ability to coordinate and operate jointly.  This is a further example of how our interoperability is enabling Gibraltar to contribute to the global fight against criminality and, in this particular operation, international drug trafficking.  More importantly, it denies the use of Gibraltar, whether directly or indirectly, to organised crime groups.

52-17 ARRESTS AND CHARGE FOLLOWING UPPER TOWN DISTURBANCES

A male person was arrested yesterday afternoon soon after a disturbance in an upper town residential area.  A police investigation into the incident subsequently led to the arrest of a second male and eventually to the arrest of a further two individuals.

The two male persons have been charged as follows and are currently on bail with conditions pending their appearance in court tomorrow morning.

William VASQUEZ, 61 years of age, is charged with 1x count of Affray and 1x count of Being in Possession of a Bladed Article. 

Elliot GILBERT, 50 years of age, is charged with 1x count of Affray and 1x count of Being in Possession of and Offensive Weapon.

The other two individuals, a male and female, were arrested on suspicion of Violent Disorder and are currently on police bail.

The RGP is aware of the video footage that has been circulating on Social Media and reassures the public that it will continue to do its utmost to ensure public safety and maintain public confidence.

It also encourages members of the public that witness such incidents to come forward as witnesses so that together in unison we can all look after and protect our community. 

51-17 JOINT LAW ENFORMENT OPERATION IN THE BAY OF GIBRALTAR

The Royal Gibraltar Police confirms that during the course of yesterday afternoon a multi agency, non-security related, operation was undertaken in the Bay of Gibraltar. 

At about 1900hrs yesterday RGP and HM Customs officers, with the assistance of Gibraltar Port Authority personnel, boarded a vessel of interest anchored in the Bay.  The operation continues this morning with officers having remained on board the vessel overnight.

 

50-17 POLICE TACKLE UNDERAGE DRINKING

During the course of the night of Friday 24th March, Royal Gibraltar Police officers have once again been busy with OP Tawny ll, the Royal Gibraltar Police’s ongoing banner operation tackling under age drinking.

During the course of the night a total of 6 youngsters had alcoholic beverages confiscated and disposed of by Police officers.

Three females aged 13 and 14 years old were found with a bottle of Disaronno at Fishmarket Road.  This was confiscated and the parents of all three individuals were contacted and informed.

A 16 year old male was found with a 2 litre bottle of a concoction of a soft drink and Cider at Line Wall Road.  The beverage was confiscated and the parents were contacted and informed.

A 17 year old female was found in possession of a bottle of Vodka in Main Street.  The Vodka was confiscated and her parents contacted and informed.

A 16 year old female was found in possession of a bottle Vodka within the ICC carpark.  The Vodka was confiscated and the parents informed.

The RGP wishes to highlight its commitment to tackling underage drinking.  Current legislation, The Children and Young Persons (Alcohol, Tobacco and Gaming) Act 2011, provides for youths over 16 years of age, and under 18 years of age, to be able to drink beverages containing certain levels of Alcohol in certain circumstance, however, the RGP will be strict in the application of this legislation and will continue to act when alcohol is consumed by youngsters in contravention of these provisions.

Whilst, the intention is to safeguard youngsters rather than criminalize them, the RGP will actively seek to identify and robustly deal with those procuring, or selling Alcohol to youngsters in contravention of the provisions of the Act.  The RGP also wishes to bring to the attention of retailers and all would be procurers of alcohol for youngsters that in addition to their legal obligations, they also have a moral responsibility towards our youth. 

Additionally, we wish to reassure parents that as an organisation the Royal Gibraltar Police shall afford them, and their children, our full support.  We encourage parents to converse and interact with their children and remain aware of their children’s social activities.