At about 0715hrs today, an RGP Marine Crew patrolling BGTW onboard Police Interceptor Sir John Chapple challenged a suspect RHIB off the Eastern Side of Gibraltar, resulting in a high-speed pursuit of a 14mtr RHIB powered by 3 x 300HP outboard engines, with 4 occupants onboard and a sizeable cargo of suspected cannabis bales.
The high-speed pursuit lasted approximately 30mins, and saw the suspect vessel perform various alterations to its course and a series of dangerous and evasive manoeuvres, eventually leading to the vessel’s occupants jettisoning a total of 27 cannabis bales. This enabled the suspect vessel to increase its speed and make good its escape into the Strait of Gibraltar, pursued by a Guardia Civil vessel that had arrived in support of the RGP Crew.
Once the RGP crew had discontinued their pursuit, officers were able to retrieve a total of 24 cannabis bales from the sea, with HM Customs & Gibraltar Defence Police vessels that had deployed in support recovering an additional 3 cannabis bales.
The duration of this latest high-speed marine pursuit is indicative not only of the lengths to which drugs traffickers are prepared to go to protect their illicit cargo and evade apprehension, but also of the RGP’s determination to deny traffickers the use of BGTW to conduct illicit activities.
RGP, HM Customs & GDP marine crews continue to cooperate closely and support each other mutually on a daily basis, as part of Gibraltar’s continued contribution to regional and wider international efforts to combat drugs trafficking and other illicit activity.
The approximate weight of the drugs recovered this morning is of 800kg, with an approximate street value of just over £4,000,000.00.