300kg of Cocaine Worth 18€ Million Seized off Ibiza
The Customs Surveillance Service (SVA) of the Tax Agency has intercepted 300 kilos of cocaine on a boat between Mallorca and Ibiza.
The agents acted in the early hours of Sunday when the motorboat that was transporting the drug was about fifteen miles west of Ibiza.
Five crew members were arrested , four of them Dutch one German.
The detainees together with the boat and the drugs have been placed at the disposal of the Instruction Court No. 8 of the Palma de Mallorca, which will direct proceedings.
Action is also being taken in the Netherlands, where it is expected that the rest of the organization will be arrested.
This operation is one of the biggest seizures of cocaine ever made in the Balearic Islands. The value of the cocaine is said to exceed 18,000,000€* on the black market, and the boat is valued at a further 1,500,000€
We asked a friend, and they highlighted that 300kg equals 300,000g, or in cocaine terms minimally 350,000g which at 50€ a gram is 17,500,000€ – if it were sold pure. But by the time it hit the streets that 300kg will have minimally trebled in weight, so a more realistic street value as people would understand it, of around 55,000,000€. At least, so our friend tells us.
The operation, called ‘Haircut’, began as a result of routine maritime intelligence work developed by Customs Surveillance officers, when in 2016 a vessel was detected in Palma de Mallorca linked to a criminal organization dedicated to the importation of narcotics into Europe. From the outset the investigation was developed jointly with the Dutch Police and European collaboration.
The operation came to its conclusion on Sunday when it was detected that the vessel had departed from the port of Palma de Mallorca. Unbeknown to the ship’s crew, it was being constantly monitored with cutting edge aeronautical surveillance systems of the Customs department. This resulted in the observance that the yacht, the HCH-X flying under a Gibraltar flag, had picked up some packages in the sea, that only moments before had been thrown overboard by a regular cargo ship.
This modus operandi is known as ‘drop-off’, which consists of the use of regular line vessels (container ships ) for the transport of the narcotic substance to Europe, mainly cocaine, and in the vicinity of the coast it is thrown into the sea by the members of the crew and collected by boats of smaller size, who then transfer the drugs to shore.
Once there was evidence of the collection of narcotics, the corresponding authorization was requested from the ship’s flag country, which turned out to be from the United Kingdom with registration in Gibraltar; This procedure was carried out through the Intelligence Centre Against Terrorism and Organized Crime.
With the authorization of the State of the flag and the corresponding boarding order issued by the Court of Instruction No. 8 of the Palma de Mallorca, a provision of the patrol boat “Paiño” of Customs Surveillance proceeded to board the vessel HCH-X, finding in its interior five waterproofed bales tied together with ropes that hid approximately 150 kilograms of high purity cocaine.
Immediately the five crew members were arrested, as well as the intervention of the ship and the merchandise for its subsequent transfer to the port of Palma de Mallorca.
The boat was searched in the presence of the Judicial Authority leading to the discovery of a further 150 kilograms of cocaine in a double bottom on the floor of the captain’s cabin.
Watch a video of the customs operation here (opens tab to diario de Ibiza) cocaine seizure video at diario de ibiza