19 Apr, 2024 @ 15:15
1 min read

‘Narco boat’ manufacturers who ‘helped drug traffickers ferry eight tonnes of cocaine and hashish’ along the Gibraltar Strait are arrested in Spain as crackdown continues

narco speed boats

A GANG that specialised in manufacturing the notorious ‘narco launches’ that have become ubiquitous in the Strait of Gibraltar has been raided.

The Galicia-based criminal organisation supplied high-powered outboard motors and custom-built narco-speedboats to traffickers in the south.

Dubbed ‘Vozka’, the operation has resulted in the arrest of six individuals and the investigation of five others.

It is the latest in a string of police operations to tackle the scourge of narco-trafficking in the region, after dozens were arrested earlier in the week.

READ MORE: Police dismantle BIGGEST network of narcos in the Gibraltar Strait, seizing 627 kilos of cocaine and four TONNES of hashish

narco speed boats

The gang, which also engaged in money laundering, operated between the province of Ourense in Galicia and northern Portugal. 

The speedboats they supplied were also used for illegal immigrant smuggling to the shores of southern Spain.

The criminal group reportedly laundered the proceeds of drug trafficking to construct high-speed vessels, which were then transported to the Strait of Gibraltar region. 

Evidence suggests that several of the boats manufactured by this organisation are linked to seizures of over four tonnes of cocaine and four tonnes of hash carried out in the Strait of Gibraltar and international waters by Spanish law enforcement agencies.

The operation culminated in raids across Valença do Miño (Portugal), Ourense, and Pontevedra, resulting in the arrest of six individuals.

READ MORE: Narco boat smashes against a Guardia Civil vessel off Spain’s Costa del Sol

A further five are being investigated on suspicions of criminal organisation membership, money laundering, and drug trafficking.

During the raids, authorities seized €30,000 in cash, eight boats, 25 high-powered engines, nautical equipment, GPS radars, antennas, and various documentation, computers, and mobile phones.

The arrests follow on from ‘operacion Grajuela’, which saw some 19 people have been arrested across Spain and Portugal, adding to the 12 already in prison. 

In Portugal, police raided 24 homes, seizing three hand guns, 1,400,000 euros in cash, 19 high end vehicles, communication systems, IT devices and two narco boats. 

Though the operation ran from a luxury urbanisation in Lisbon, it had a wide network of collaborators and infrastructure throughout the Sanlucar de Barrameda area of Cadiz, where the leaders originated from.

READ MORE: Family clan who ‘sold drugs delivered by narco boats’ on Spain’s Costa Blanca is arrested 

The organisation had between eight and ten high-performance boats alongside a network of smaller boats used to provide necessary items like food and petrol to the big boats. 

The investigation began last May, when agents detected the gang picking up 6,000 kilos of cocaine from a submarine coming from South America. 

Although the boat sank due to mechanical issues, it prompted the police investigation, locating the leaders in the Cadiz areas of Sanlucar de Barrameda, Chipiona and El Cuervo. 

Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
Got a story? [email protected]
@waltfinc

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