The ‘Gure Leire’ had been in the spotlight of the Tax Agency for its possible connection with organizations dedicated to drug trafficking.
The fishing of Ondarroa ‘Gure Leire’, arrested a few days ago near the Azores with 2,500 kilos of cocaine and sailing towards the Galician coast, he had spent years in the crosshairs of the Tax Agency for its possible links to organizations dedicated to drug trafficking, as confirmed by research sources. The seven crew members of the boat have been imprisoned by order of the National High Court .
The “suspicions” of the investigators increased last April, when it entered the Port of A Coruña and was detected by the Office of Maritime Intelligence of Customs Surveillance . Since then, and within the framework of the operation ‘Pascal Atlántico 2019’ (of naval surveillance in cooperation with French customs services), the ship has been monitored until it was tackled on 27 May.
As they explained, in statements to the media, the delegate of the Tax Agency in Galicia, Imelda Capote, and the head of Customs, Jaime Gayá , the ‘Gure Leire’ picked up the cocaine somewhere in the North Atlantic, where he found the ‘mother ship’ that had shipped the drug (from South America) in Suriname .
Later, the fishing boat headed for the Galician coasts, and was intercepted by the Special Operations vessel of the Tax Agency ‘Fulmar’ , a thousand miles west of Vigo.
In the registry of the facilities, Customs officials located 84 bales with packets of cocaine, until adding about 2,500 kilos, which were hidden in the cold storage rooms of the longliner .
The sub-delegation of the Government in Pontevedra, Maica Larriba, who has congratulated the agencies that have participated in this operation “long-prepared”, has stressed that the drug intervened would have reached in the illegal market a value of over 80 million euros .
In this action, called ‘Operation Tiburon’ (because the ship had been dispatched for the fishing of this species), the seven crew members of the ‘Gure Leire’ , all Spaniards (Galicians and Basques), including the owner and skipper of the boat, domiciled in Ondarroa and that also traveled in the fishing boat. In addition to the arrests, three home searches of Ondarroa and Berriatúa have been carried out simultaneously.
The apprehended vessel has been towed to the Port of Vigo , where the drug was unloaded and where the crew members will go to court because, although the National Court (which runs the operation) has already decreed via telematic entry into custody, the detainees had not yet appeared before the judicial authority. Thus, they will appear, after the warrant issued by the National Court , before the court of the olívica city.
In addition to the Central Court of Instruction No. 1 of the National Court , the Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office also coordinates the proceedings. The investigation is developed by the area of Customs Surveillance of Galicia , in coordination with the General Subdirectorate of Operations of the Department of Customs and Special Taxes of the Tax Agency.
Likewise, it has had the cooperation of the British National Crime Agency (NCA) , the Center for Analysis and Maritime Operations in Drug Trafficking (MACO-N) of Portugal and the Center for Intelligence against Terrorism and Organized Crime (CITCO).
Source: Diario Vasco