Eight Brazilian crew members have been detained by Spanish authorities after a flag or unmarked fishing boat was intercepted in the Atlantic Ocean with 560 kilograms (cocaine).
The operation, known as “Brazil Franco”, culminated in the loading of a ship last Friday, which turned the 19-meter-long fishing vessel into a dock for drug trafficking, about 500 kilometers south of the Canary Islands. Los Palmas de Gran Canaria arrived on Tuesday, the interior ministry said.
The investigation into the storage of half a ton of cocaine, led by the Anti-Drug Attorney’s Office of the High Court, began with an exchange of information between the Atlantic Center for Analysis and Operations (MAOC-N). And the Center for the Investigation of Terrorism and Organized Crime (CITCO), which determined the existence of a suspicious boat carrying drugs from South America to Europe.
From that moment on, the Civil Guard, in conjunction with the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency of the Tax Authority and the National Police, established the necessary procedures to locate the boat and, if possible, with Federal Customs Surveillance 2.
The systems responsible for the operation exemplify the complexity of the ship’s interruption due to the storm in the Azores at that time, as there was very little information about the ship’s location and the navigation conditions of the boarding.
“Once the fishing vessel was found, a quick and clear boarding operation was carried out under technical safety conditions despite the sea level,” they added.
During the intervention, a significant number of packages commonly used for cocaine smuggling were found and eight crew members aboard the fishing boat were detained.
The fishing boat was towed to the port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Both prisoner, boat, drug and police cases are available to the federal court, which acts as a guardian of the National Court.
The Interior Ministry said the move was part of a crackdown on so-called Atlantic cocaine smuggling by fishing boats from South America. Introduced into the European continent later in the mid-Atlantic.