A Spanish national resident in Estepona was arrested by officers of the RGP Marine Section during the weekend and has appeared in court facing drug trafficking charges. It follows a chase by the Spanish customs ‘Servicio Vigilancia Aduanera’ into Gibraltar territorial waters of a fast launch.
Just before 4pm on Saturday, Francisco Jesus Tapia Apresa, born in February 1960, of Urb Isdabe, Calle Poniente 83-1b Estepona, Malaga, was navigating a small fast Spanish registered pleasure craft when an SVA patrol vessel chased it into Gibraltar Territorial Waters.
The RGP say they were alerted of this by a member of the public and responded intercepting the pleasure craft as this one sped into the harbour bringing it to a halt by the southern end of the Detached Mole. The SVA patrol vessel held off and did not enter the harbour. They left Gibraltar Territorial Waters very shortly after.
The RGP add: As the RGP officers boarded the pleasure craft, Tapia Apresa picked up two plastic fuel containers from the bow of the vessel and dropped them overboard. These were recovered and found to have a total of 22.32kg of Cannabis resin concealed within. Also subsequently recovered by police divers was a mobile phone which Tapia Apresa had disposed off at the point of being challenged by the RGP officers. The vessel has also been impounded.
Tapia Apresa was charged with Importing a prohibited import (22.32kg of Cannabis Resin); Possession of a controlled drug (22.32kg of Cannabis Resin) and
Possession with intent to supply another or others (22.32kg of Cannabis Resin).
He was kept in police custody pending his court appearance yesterday. The case has been adjourned and Tapia Apreso remanded in custody.