A ROUTINE patrol has revealed a secret hiding place for 825 kilos of hashish on a small pleasure boat.

The two men who crewed the boat, a Spanish and a Portuguese national, were arrested by Customs officers on January 12.

Marine customs came across the boat at 3pm while patrolling Gibraltar waters one and a half miles south-east of Europa Point.

They questioned the two men aboard and then went on board, taking the boat back to base for a full search.

At first a large bag was found with a number of slabs of cannabis resin.

As the Customs officers investigated further they found a secret hydraulic compartment under central seats.

It gave access to a false fibreglass flooring where slabs and bales of hashish had been stored.

The pair were then processed at New Mole House Police Station.

The 825kg of cannabis resin is believed to have been smuggled from Morocco and had a street value of over £4 million.

“HM Customs officers are at the front line in protecting the jurisdiction,” said Collector of Customs John Rodriguez.

“They play a key role in detecting illegal imports of prohibited and controlled drugs, thereby disrupting serious and organised crime groups.

“This detection, whilst not directed for Gibraltar, has prevented a substantial quantity of illegal drugs from ending up in the hinterland and onwards into Europe.

“Investigations continue to ascertain assets derived from such criminal conduct with a view to confiscations.

“I congratulate all officers involved in this seizure. Well done to all!”

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