27 May, 2023 @ 09:30
1 min read

Customs officers find two tonnes of hash valued at £9 million floating in the sea east of Gibraltar

gib hash customs

CUSTOMS officers have seized two tonnes of hashish they found floating in British waters on the eastern side of the Rock.

Authorities worked out that the 53 bales of cannabis resin have a combined value of £9 million, although the officers found no trace of the smugglers that were transporting it.

Collector of Customs John Payas and Chief Minister Fabian Picardo paid credit to the officers who had reacted quickly to intercept the illegal substance.

Smugglers bringing the hashish from neighbouring Morocco often throw out the hash when cornered by Spanish police.

Customs officers first caught a glimpse of the packages on May 20 at 11am when on a routine patrol.

Once they had investigated the ‘suspicious packages of different sizes and wrapping’ they called in two more boats for backup, a government statement said.

Together, they then set about recovering the bales and loading them aboard.

They then brought them ashore where they were able to weigh them and continue their investigation.

The Collector of Customs, John Payas, said: “HM Customs remains committed to tackling drug trafficking networks both at an international and regional level, and preventing the importation of illegal substances into our jurisdiction.

“This represents a significant seizure of drugs and underscores the effectiveness of HMC’s ability to curtail illicit drugs trafficking through Gibraltar’s waters.”

Payas added that it ‘serves as a stark reminder to organized criminal groups that their activities will not go unchecked’.

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo echoed his words in his own congratulations to the law enforcement branch.

“HM Customs Officers work tirelessly to keep drugs off Gibraltar’s streets and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate them on this interception.

“[It] is just one example of the tangible impact of their stellar efforts on our community.”


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