Friday, 1 December 2023, 18:11
Early one morning in May 2022, local residents found a stranded boat, that had apparently been used by drug smugglers, on Faro beach in La Cala de Mijas. Like any good citizens, they contacted the Guardia Civil, who went to check it out and found that it was completely empty. Evidence suggested that it had been used just a few hours earlier to transport drugs. That was the start of a story that nobody knew how to end. What was to be done with the boat? Now, a year and a half later, the story has just reached its penultimate chapter.
A few days after the discovery of the boat, seeing that it was still untouched, local councillor at the time José Carlos Martín said that he called the Guardia Civil in Mijas to ask whether the town hall could remove the boat, however "they said no".
Some months later the vessel was still in the same place and in worse condition due to sand and salt damage; Martín tried again to get it removed. He sent a letter to the same Guardia Civil post, dated 23 December 2022, proposing to remove the boat once again, in accordance with Andalusian regulations that consider abandoned vehicles as waste.
"They did not respond," said Martín. And this meant that the drug boat stayed on the beach, sometimes covered by sand and other times no, throughout the whole of 2023, including the peak tourist season.
The then councillor said that the boat was in a remote area of the beach and "had not bothered anyone". However the new councillor currently in charge of beaches, Daniel Jesús Gómez Teruel, in his role since this November after the vote of no confidence in the municipality, thought differently.
Just a few days ago, the drug boat was finally towed away. According to municipal sources, it was considered waste as it was an abandoned vehicle.
Even so, the remains of the boat "have been put into safekeeping" in case at some point they are needed in a judicial process, despite the poor condition they are now in.
According to judicial sources, the protocol that is usually followed in these cases is that if there is an open case, the judge must decide if and when the boat is moved. And it is the Junta de Andalucía who must take care of transporting it to a legal deposit location.
This process can take a long time, but in no case, according to these sources, should it take as long as a year and a half, as it has done in Mijas.
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