MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish police have seized semi-submersible drones used by drug traffickers to ship narcotics across the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain, the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday, the first time such purpose-made devices have been discovered in Spain.
Three drones, including one made out of a surfboard, were found along with six large flying drones in several warehouses near the port city of Cadiz, Juan Antonio Siloleo, head of the central narcotics brigade, told reporters in Cadiz.
The sea-borne devices were designed to travel 30 km (19 miles) carrying up to 200 kg (440 lb) of marijuana and hashish.
“The navigation of these devices was done remotely via GPS, so that a person or a member of the organisation could check the location at any time and then arrange the docking from home with a tablet and the right software,” Siloleo said.
The investigation lasted 14 months and allowed the police to seize over 150 kg of hashish and marijuana, 157,000 euros ($161,537) in cash and arrest eight people in Ceuta, a Spanish enclave on the northern coast of Morocco, and in the southern Spanish cities of Cadiz and Malaga.
Photo Members of Spain’s Guardia Civil are about to break into a house in a search operation in Los Barrios town, Cadiz province, Andalucia region, southern Spain, 27 April 2022. The search is part of a major operation against drug trafficking in the Strait of Gibraltar. Some 20 people have been arrested so far and several tons of hashish have been seized. Searches have also taken place in the Spanish town of Campo de Gibraltar and in Ceuta city. EPA-EFE/A. CARRASCO RAGEL