7th April 2021, 20:53
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Customs officers curtailed a tobacco smuggling operation in the area of the Small Boats Marina.
Five individuals were arrested on land for trying to export a commercial quantity of cigarettes. Simultaneously, two patrol vessels engaged in a high speed chase of a small RHIB with two occupants on board, carrying boxes of tobacco. The suspected smugglers performed evasive manoeuvres which resulted in the passenger, together 150 cartons of cigarettes falling into the sea. The individual was rescued and arrested. The second person managed to flee into Spain.
Customs say the incident is another reminder of the risks taken by the smugglers engaged in this illicit activity; and the difficult and dangerous scenarios that officers find themselves bravely working in, both on land and at sea.