EIt's an unequal fight, the police are helpless. First, a speedboat of drug smugglers used risky maneuvers in the port of Barbate to chase the police who came to check them. It then rammed a small dinghy. Two officers were killed and another was seriously injured. Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska speaks of “murder” and promises “zero impunity”. Spain is mourning and outraged by the deaths of two fathers, aged 39 and 43, on the Atlantic coast between the Straits of Gibraltar and Cádiz. The police union and the opposition demand the resignation of the minister who failed in the fight against the drug mafia in the Strait of Gibraltar.
From the mouth of the Guadalquivir River across the strait to Málaga, the Spanish authorities have had little to do against the “narcotics” for years. It was also visible on Friday night. Several smugglers had sought shelter in Barbate's small harbor before the days-long storm; they usually wait at sea to pick up their cargo. They can transport up to three tons of hashish from Morocco. It only takes a good ten minutes to cross the Strait of Gibraltar. With three or four powerful outboard engines, they often have over a thousand horsepower and up to 140 kilometers per hour. According to the press, the police fleet, on the other hand, is up to 20 years old. The Ministry of the Interior recently ordered three new speedboats.
Eight people were arrested
The dinghy unit from Algeciras had to be sent to Barbate first. The police currently do not have their own vessels for this stretch of beach, it was said at the weekend. Weighing only 500 kilograms and equipped with an outboard motor, the police boat was not only made fun of by the smugglers on their twelve-meter long boat, but also by those on shore, as seen in videos circulating on social media. But with the death of two officers, the line was crossed. Police responded quickly and arrested eight people, including the crew.
“The situation is getting more and more out of control. There are more and more smugglers' speedboats. They think that nothing will happen to them, because in fact nothing will happen to them,” says Ana Villagómez of the special prosecutor's office in Cadiz, which is responsible for the fight against “drugs” in Spain. The police have no resources or personnel to deal with it. “They are risking their lives,” Villagómez complains to Spanish media.
Journalist and author Nacho Carretero does not want to talk about the “drug state” in Spain. But he warns of a “drug culture” that allows drug traffickers to operate in an area that is one of Spain's poorest. In particular, Campo de Gibraltar, located on the Bay of Gibraltar, is one of the most structurally weak areas in Spain. Youth unemployment reached 80 percent in some areas. Drug smuggling means quick and easy money. Standing on the corner and warning smugglers against the police, you can earn 600 euros a day.
It involves huge sums and sums of money. Big business involves criminal groups from Sweden, Ireland, Great Britain, Holland, Germany and France, who love to establish themselves in the luxurious seaside resort of Marbella. Authorities say police seized a good 1,400 tons of hashish between 2018 and the end of 2023, but Morocco's annual production is estimated at more than 4,000 tons. There is also cocaine and migrants from North Africa hidden in containers in the port of Algeciras. The drug also moves across the strait on recreational planes, helicopters, drones and diving parades.