THREE youths from La Linea de la Concepcion and a fourth person from Ceuta have been arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling.

The four were spotted by the Algeciras Fisheries Inspection Unit on a semi-rigid launch three miles off the coast of Tarifa at 11am.

As soon as the suspected smugglers realised they were being followed they tried to escape the area but were finally caught at 12.20pm.

The Fisheries Unit then proceeded to identify the four people at which point it was discovered that the pilot was from Ceuta and the other three were from La Linea.

The Provincial Maritime Service was radioed to the scene and the four were arrested.

They were then charged with contraband as well as disobedience and resistance to the authorities.

The 14 metre semi-rigid launch powered by four 300cc engines was also impounded.

After looking at their GPS equipment it was discovered the boat had tried to refuel in Ceuta over the last couple of days.

However, those attempts were foiled by the Ceuta Guardia Civil, forcing them into Moroccan waters to evade capture.

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