Police recovered 800kg of cannabis resin worth £4m after a 30-minute high-speed chase in British waters around Gibraltar early this morning.
Crew on the Royal Gibraltar Police vessel Sir John Chapple challenged a suspicious rigid-hulled inflatable boat off the east side of the Rock at around 7.15am.
The RHIB, powered by three 300HP outboard engines, was carrying four occupants and a large cargo of drugs, and sped off when approached by the RGP vessel.
“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,” the RGP said in a statement.
“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 discontinued its pursuit, officers were able to retrieve a total of 24 cannabis bales from the sea, with HM Customs and Gibraltar Defence Police vessels recovering an additional three 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 British Gibraltar territorial waters to conduct illicit activities,” the RGP statement added.
“RGP, HM Customs and 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.