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The narco-boats flee after the arrival of a police patrol boat. SUR
'Narco-boats' flee coast of Costa del Sol after ramming Guardia Civil patrol boat
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'Narco-boats' flee coast of Costa del Sol after ramming Guardia Civil patrol boat

The latest incident comes after the tragedy in February in Barbate (Cadiz province), when two police officers were killed after their boat was rammed by alleged drug traffickers

Friday, 29 March 2024, 16:25

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The group of 'narco-boats' - powerful vessels usually used by organised crime gangs - that were seen anchored at sea off the coast of Manilva on the Costa del Sol on Wednesday (27 March) have fled the area after allegedly ramming a police patrol boat that was sent to the scene. The Unified Association of Guardia Civil (AUGC) police officers' union condemned the incident which happened at about 11.30am yesterday.

The Guardia Civil's Río Belelle patrol boat was sent from Algeciras to intercept the boats, which had been anchored close to shore in rough seas, due to the effect of storm Norman, according to police sources. "On spotting the patrol boat, they showed no qualms about ramming the vessel and intimidating the crew," the union claimed.

The police patrol boat was rammed on its starboard side, but no one was injured. The latest incident sparked the AUGC to call on the Spanish government for "more patrol boats and extra personnel".

Manilva mayor José Manuel Fernández echoed the calls after witnessing the events unfold from the shore. "They waited, calmly, for the Guardia Civil to arrive before shooting off, and one of them even circled around the police boat before fleeing out to sea," he told SUR.

On Wednesday, the councillor expressed his anger after a dozen of the narco-boats - typically used by organised crime gangs - were anchored barely a kilometre and a half from Sabinillas beach. "This morning there were only five, and by the time the patrol boat arrived, there were three," Fernández said. A surveillance system was set up by the Local Police to monitor the boats' movements until the Guardia Civil intervened, he added.

"They move along the Costa del Sol with a feeling of total impunity, so much so that we could see perfectly well how the people aboard were looking at us and recording us from the narco-boats," the mayor pointed out. Fernández said neither the Local Police nor the Guardia Civil have sufficient maritime or land resources, which is why it is necessary for the Spanish government to provide extra reinforcements to "put an end to this scourge".

"We must acknowledge the titanic efforts of the officers, specifically the Guardia Civil and the Local Police of the municipality, who put their own lives at risk and that without more means there is little more they can do," he added.

Fernández insisted he will continue to demand more resources from the subdelegation of the government in Malaga province, central government in Madrid and the ministry of the Interior.

The latest incident comes after the tragedy that happened in February in Barbate (Cadiz province), when two Guardia Civil officers were killed after their boat was continually rammed by alleged drug traffickers.

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