MAOC-N supports two Spanish operations off the Iberian Peninsula, with one semi-submersible sinking and 900Kg of cocaine seized from a go-fast

In the morning of the 25th of June 2024, a joint operation carried out by the Spanish authorities (National Police, Guardia Civil and SVA – DAVA) resulted in the interception of a semi-submersible off the Iberian Peninsula.

On the previous day, via information shared through the Centre, there had been suspicions that an unknown vessel would meet a go-fast vessel south of the Iberian Peninsula to carry out a transhipment of drugs.

Subsequently, an operational plan was put in place by several MAOC-N partner countries and it was agreed that the Spanish asset “Fulmar” would be deployed to intercept the target. Upon the approach by the Spanish asset, which successfully intercepted the semi-submersible, the crew proceeded to sink it and jumped into the sea, being rescued by the crew of the FULMAR. All four crew members, Colombian nationals, were arrested and presented to the Spanish judicial authorities.

Notably, the Spanish authorities point out that the vessel has similar characteristics to those of other semi-submersibles seized in previous operations. Also, given the location of the intervention, as well as the behaviour of the crew arrested, it is presumed that the semi-submersible was carrying cocaine on board.

It is also worthy to mention that at the time of interception of the semi-submersible, the FULMAR had already 900kg of cocaine on board, seized during another operation which involved same Spanish law enforcement agencies. This operation, in its turn, resulted in the seizure of a significant quantity of drugs, which had been thrown overboard by the crew of a go-fast vessel. Despite the 6 hours chase carried out by the Spanish asset, in adverse sea conditions, it was not possible to intercept the speed boat which headed in direction of La Palma (Canary Islands).

These two successful international operations were made possible by the extensive cooperations between several partners carried out through MAOC-N. In addition to the already mentioned Spanish services, the operation has been supported by the US Drugs Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the UK National Crime Agency (NCA).

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