One of the stolen boats, with damaged cables. / SUR

Police break up gang that stole boats from Fuengirola port for drug trafficking

Seven people have been arrested in connection with the thefts of boats, hire vehicles and fuel frauds at petrol stations

IRENE QUIRANTE

After weeks of investigation, the National Police have dismantled a criminal organisation, arresting seven people for their alleged involvement in a plot to steal motorboats from Fuengirola port to be used in drug trafficking operations. Three privately owned boats were stolen within a few days of each other.

Officers had been investigating the case since August, when the victims reported the disappearances of their boats.

Only one vessel was recovered: it was located by the Guardia Civil on the western Costa del Sol coast of Casares. Investigators discovered that one of the gang members was an expert in starting boat motors.

Fuengirola National Police officers found that they were dealing with a criminal network with a clear distribution of roles, with boat pilots, specialised mechanics, car drivers and other specific positions within the organisation.

In addition to stealing the boats for drug trafficking, the officials also accused them of stealing two rented vehicles which, to date, have not been located. They are also linked to three minor offences for non-payment of fuel at different petrol stations along the coast.