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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 27 February, 2020

Boat carrying loads and loads* of hash sinks to the bottom of the sea

To be precise – 13.4 tonnes of soggy, soggy hash.

File photo of a drugs seizure
File photo of a drugs seizure
Image: Photocall Ireland

MORE THAN 13 tonnes of hash sank to the bottom of the Mediterranean yesterday after smugglers were stopped by the EU’s coastal patrol operation.

Triton, charged with looking out for people-traffickers and their human cargoes, spotted the suspicious 25-metre fishing boat on Thursday, off the coast of Italy.

Officers from the Spanish Civil Guard and Italy’s Financial Police followed it and boarded it about 100 nautical miles (185km) to the south of Sardinia, arresting nine Egyptians.

The officers were able to count 370 packets containing just under 15 tonnes of hash before they realised there was a hole in the engine room and the boat was about to sink.

“There was only time to recover about 1,600 kilogrammes (1.6 tonnes, 3,500 pounds) of the hashish,” the officer in charge of the operation, Colonel Antonino Iraso, told AFP.

A combination of the sudden stop and its heavy load meant the boat took on water rapidly and soon went under in waters 2,600 metres (8,500 feet) deep.

Contains reporting by AFP.

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Dan MacGuill

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