Spanish police seize hashish from Britain-bound catamaran
Police have seized 3.2 tonnes of Moroccan hashish from a catamaran on the high seas off the southern coast of Spain that was bound for Britain, the interior ministry said Wednesday.
The operation led to the arrests of ten people in Spain and three in Britain who were part of a drug trafficking group made up of British nationals based on Spain's Costa del Sol, it said in a statememt.
The announcement comes one day after Spanish police announced they had arrested three people and seized 1.5 tonnes of cocaine hidden in a false roof of a British-flagged yacht off the coast of Portugal.
The catamaran sailed from the Spanish island of Majorca in the Mediterranean for Morocco, where it picked up the hashish and was on its way to the southern coast of England when police intercepted the boat near Cadiz.
The operation, carried out with the aid of British police and French customs agents, also seized 420,000 British pounds, 100,000 euros and 20,000 dollars from several homes in Britain.
During the past two years Spanish police in cooperation with Britain's Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) have carried out 14 joint operations against drug traffickers that have resulted in more than 170 arrests and the seizure of 17 tonnes of narcotics, the interior ministry said.
Spain's proximity to Morocco, a key source of hashish, and its close ties with its former colonies in Latin America, a major cocaine-producing region, have made it a major gateway into Europe for drug traffickers.
© 2010 AFP