A COMBINED operation resulted in the seizure of a fishing boat containing up to 15 tons of hashish.
Working together, officers of the Guardia Civil, the National Police and the Tax Agency, intercepted a boat which was sailing without an identifying flag and was challenged by the customs surveillance patrol boat, Arao some 110 miles off Cabo de Palos.
Thanks to advice received from the Dutch, Portuguese and Italian authorities it was discovered that the suspect vessel left the port of Stellendam (Holland) early in May heading through the Straits of Gibraltar towards an area of the Mediterranean where drug loads are often unloaded.
Although the vessel was supposedly registered in Malta, this was denied by the Maltese authorities and as the boat sailed through the Mediterranean, the customs vessel set off from the port of Alicante to intercept it.
When officers boarded the ship, they discovered a crew of three Dutch nationals as well as a Bulgarian and a very large number of wrapped bales which they believed contained hashish. Having arrested the men and taken possession of the fishing boat, it was escorted back to Alicante where the bales were unloaded and found to contain hashish and weight 15 tons.