Police collaborate in hash haul

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SPANISH law enforcement officers took part in an international operation which found 15 tonnes of hashish.

A fishing boat named Rinad, flying an Egyptian flag, was caught in international waters carrying the drugs.

The boat, which had come from Morocco and was heading for the Italian coast to unload the drugs, was stopped in a joint operation between the Guardia Civil, Spanish Tax Agency and Italian Guardia de Finanza.

Upon boarding and searching the boat, officers found the hash hidden in packets behind panels near water and gas tanks.

Nine Egyptians were arrested, including one under-aged minor, and taken to police ships.

Officers then began to move the drugs yet only managed to shift 52 packets containing 1,600 kilos before the boat began to sink.

Although officers used pumps to remove water they were unable to stop the boat and remaining drugs sinking.

Sabotage of boats when police arrive appears to be the latest trick for crew members carrying drugs who risk their own lives by damaging or even setting fire to the vessels to avoid drugs being seized.

The seized hash and the detainees were taken to Cagliari Port on the Italian island of Sardinia. 

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