Gang on Personal Watercraft Smuggled Drugs at High Speeds: Police

Police in Spain busted a gang they say had been using personal watercraft to smuggle cannabis at high speed.

They arrested 20 people and seized 4 tons of cannabis in hashish form.

The gang had been using the watercraft, as can be seen in the above footage, to zoom onto land and drop the drugs off before making a quick getaway, according to police.

Other footage shows a police raid on the gang that is suspected of having smuggled drugs from the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in North Africa to the southwestern Spanish port city of Cadiz.

Hashish trafficking along Spain's coast
A criminal organization dedicated to hashish trafficking used recreational boats and personal watercraft to transport hashish along coastal Spain. Guardia Civil/Zenger

The police said in a statement obtained by Zenger News on Sunday that they seized several vehicles, money, and drugs during the raid.

"The organization used both marinas and the beaches of the Costa del Sol and Campo de Gibraltar to carry out the shipments using recreational boats and jet skis," the statement read.

"In total, 51 people have been investigated, of whom 20 have been arrested and more than four tons of hashish, 122 grams of cocaine, five recreational boats, four jet skis and five vehicles have been seized."

The police said they began investigating in September after they discovered an organization was working to smuggle hashish into Spain from North Africa.

"Most of its members lived in Ceuta, had the collaboration of other residents of Algeciras and had a high standard of living that did not correspond to their income," police said.

"The criminal organization used two methods to carry out its drops: 'anchoring' and through recreational boats. The first method involves a boat departing from the coast of Morocco with the narcotic substances, which is dropped at previously stipulated coordinates with a person then tasked with securing the drugs.

"At that point, the crew members throw the bundles of hashish attached to a weight, locating the place with a marine buoy and, later, a boat used by the organization sails to the agreed point and secures the drugs," the police said.

Spanish hashish operation busted
In an operation carried out by the Civil Guard against a criminal organization dedicated to hashish trafficking from Ceuta to Cadiz, Spain, several vehicles, money, and drugs were seized and arrests were made. Guardia Civil/Zenger

"The other method used by the organization consisted of using recreational boats, which, given their appearance of legality, sail between the marinas of Ceuta and the Campo de Gibraltar. This is how they took advantage of the volume of vessels that transit daily between these ports to hide," according to police.

The police said that sometimes the boats would land the drugs directly on beaches, while other times they would transfer them to other vessels or to personal watercraft.

"Once the shipment or transshipment was done, the boat returned to the port, taking advantage of the influx of this type of boat to mingle with each other and thus elude police control," police said, adding, "Recreational boats have powerful engines from 150 to 300 horsepower, and being short in length, they are powerful enough to transport a considerable amount of drugs. The use of jet skis makes it extremely difficult to follow as they have great maneuverability in the water."

The cops said they searched 11 homes and farms in the towns of Algeciras and Los Barrios, in the province of Cadiz, and in Ceuta, in North Africa.

The investigation is ongoing. It is currently unclear if any of the suspects have been formally charged.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.