Spain arrests 22 people linked to Narco Go-Fast boat building

Spanish authorities stopped On Tuesday, 22 suspected members of a criminal organization linked to the construction of Miami Vice-type speedboats specially equipped for trafficking large quantities of illegal drugs.

Spanish National Police, Civil Guard and Customs officers have teamed up to move around 27 sites suspected of manufacturing and selling high-speed boats to drug trafficking organisations. (Photo: picture, Licence)National Police, Civil Guard and Customs officers have teamed up to intervene at 27 sites suspected of manufacturing and selling high-speed boats to drug trafficking organizations.

The Portuguese Judicial Police also participated in the joint investigation. Portuguese officers raided two additional locations in the towns of Viana do Castelo and Valença do Miño.

Spanish police have determined that the criminal organization will begin production of the speedboats – which are banned in Spain – in the province of Pontevedra, before shipping them to other secure locations for completion.

National police agents report that the criminal organization has sought and checked highly qualified people capable of building such vessels, which would eventually be used to transport drugs along the southern coast of Spain.

Speedboats have been widely used by drug trafficking organizations to move their product at sea undetected. For the authorities, these slender boats can be difficult to locate on radar, especially in rough seas or when they are far away.

Narco groups also frequently customize their high-speed ships to improve their chances of successfully transporting drug shipments unseen.

Their upper decks are often covered with fiberglass to improve their seaworthiness and ability to withstand harsh conditions. The less time they have to spend in port performing repairs, the longer they can operate and generate profits.

Hulls painted blue and green allow fast boats to blend into the sea and avoid detection by the human eye at long distances.

When it comes to raw speed, inboard dual horsepower motors can make them nearly impossible to cache for authorities who don’t use similarly equipped watercraft.

Additional fuel canisters allow for extended voyages that eliminate the need for refueling at port and risk detection by law enforcement.

Finally, large storage spaces in the bow hull provide narco groups with maximum carrying capacity for their illicit cargo.

For all of these precise mods, the end product is simple and so is the operation: grab a motorboat, load it up with meds and enough fuel, then go wild.

Ultimately, 22 people were arrested and more than 20 speedboats, all in various states of completion, were seized by police following the investigation. Authorities also determined that six of the ships had recently been completed and were ready for drug trafficking had they not been seized in the raids.

Earnest A. Martinez