About three tons of cocaine seized on a ship on the high seas off the coast of Ribadeo

The merchant had planned to tranship the drug to other smaller vessels as it passed through the Galician coasts so that, once on land, it would be distributed by different European countries

The maritime action ship SERVIOLA of the Spanish Navy, with units on board the three intervening bodies, located the merchant ship off the coast of the town of Lugo

Before the assault of the ship by the GEO of the National Police, the nine crew members opened a waterway to sink it and thus eliminate all possible evidence

Agents of the Civil Guard and National Police and together with Customs Surveillance officials of the Tax Agency, with the collaboration of the Spanish Navy, have intervened about three tons of cocaine in a ship on the high seas off the coast of Ribadeo ( Lugo). In the operation, the nine crew members who, before the assault of the ship by the GEO of the National Police, did not hesitate to open a waterway to sink it in order to eliminate all the evidence.

The joint investigation began in May of last year, after learning of the alleged illegal activities of a criminal organization based in the O Salnés region of the province of Pontevedra. As a result of the analysis of all the information obtained throughout this investigation, coordinated by the Central Court of Instruction number 1 of the National High Court, the agents gathered a series of indications that pointed to the existence of a merchant that could transport a notorious quantity of cocaine, which would be transshipped to other vessels at some indeterminate point on the Galician coast.

For all these reasons, the investigation focused on a vessel named NEHIR, 52 meters in length and the flag of the Republic of Palau, whose characteristics and navigation route perfectly suited the possible objective of the police operation. At the same time, the agents also corroborated that, due to a meteorological alert on the Atlantic coast, it would not be possible to transfer to any other ship passing the NEHIR along the Galician coast, which is why, after the relevant meeting in the Cabinet of Coordination and Studies of the CITCO of the Secretary of State for Security, it was decided to intercept the aforementioned ship.
In this way, the maritime action ship SERVIOLA of the Spanish Navy, with specialized forces on board the three intervening bodies and supported by a patrol boat of the Maritime Service of the Gijón Civil Guard Command and a helicopter and three surveillance patrol boats Customs of the Tax Agency of the Bases of Coruña, Ribadeo and Santander, located early yesterday the merchant off the coast of Ribadeo (Lugo). The ship was approached by the GEO of the National Police who located a large number of bundles, similar to those usually used to transport narcotic substances, hidden in a compartment of the ship.

They sank the ship during the assault

During the assault, the NEHIR crew, seeing themselves without any possibility of escape, activated some device that caused the rapid flooding of all the compartments of the ship with the intention of not leaving any trace of their illicit cargo, achieving that, in little more than two hours, the ship sank completely.
The rapid action of all the agents and crew of SERVIOLA allowed, not only the recovery of all the bundles where the drug came and the rest of the effects related to the events investigated, but also and more importantly, the rescue of the entire NEHIR crew. without any damage. This morning, SERVIOLA arrived at the port of El Ferrol with the detainees and all the seized narcotic substance which, once on land, has produced a weight of about three tons of cocaine.
The nine crew members, all of them detained and of Georgian and Turkish nationalities, will be made available to the judicial authority in the coming days.


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