Four Spanish nationals have been sent to prison without bail for drug smuggling, despite having rescued three Guardia Civil officers who had fallen into the sea while pursuing them.
When a Spanish patrol boat collided with the smugglers' vessel on 4 October, the officers on board were thrown into the sea, with their boat spinning out of control nearby. Noticing the danger their colleagues were in, the crew of a police helicopter also engaged in the pursuit instructed the fugitives to assist the stranded operatives.
After eventually being persuaded to turn back by the helicopter's pilot, the smugglers hauled the Guardia Civil officers from the sea. Upon being returned to their vessel unharmed by the smugglers, the officers arrested their rescuers, and seized more than three tonnes of hashish which had fallen in the water.
Among the charges the four detainees are facing are belonging to a criminal organisation and crimes against public health.
Sources at the Andalusian High Court of Justice indicated that the fact that the smugglers eventually did come to the officers' aid is not being considered at this stage of judicial proceedings.
The sources noted that if the detainees had not done so, they would now in fact be facing serious additional charges.