THE Guardia Civil has arrested five men in connection with the discovery of over 800 kilos of hashish hidden in a tourist boat in Caleta de Velez.
Police Operation “Sarbo” has led to the dismantling of a criminal organisation involved in the trafficking of large volumes of the drug into Spain.
Investigations began after a tourist vessel was intercepted by the Maritime Rescue Service, which had three crew members on board.
Five packages of hashish were immediately discovered, weighing around 177 kilos.
However, once it had docked in the port, the boat was thoroughly searched by the Guardia Civil and a secret extra compartment was found.
A haul of 15 other packages of hashish were seized, weighing 680 kilos.
Further police inquiries and evidence gathering led to the arrest of two other members of the criminal group.
During their investigations the Guardia Civil established that the organisation was very professionally structured.
Each member of the group had a specific role to play including the logistics of their activities, transport procurement and planning while avoiding detection, and handling of the merchandise once it had arrived in Spain.
A total of 857 kilos of hashish were seized in the raid, along with the boat used to transport it, an off-road vehicle, GPS equipment and three mobile phones.
The operation is part of a concerted attempt by the Guardia Civil to clamp down on drug trafficking, particularly in the area of the Strait.