June 2, 2023

He Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia (TSJA) has confirmed the sentence of four years and ten months in prison imposed in 2022 by the Court of Huelva for each of the three men arrested (all of Ukrainian origin) as perpetrators of a Crime against public health by transport hashish from Morocco to Huelva in a narcolancha in which 5,885 kilos of this drug were seized, whose estimated value in the illicit market was 11.6 million euros.

Likewise, according to the TSJA ruling, the payment of two fines of 25 million euros and the execution of a part of the prison sentence of four years and ten months, corresponding to three years in duration, and the replacement of the rest of the execution of the custodial sentence for the expulsion of the convicts from Spanish territory, “which will also entail the expulsion from the Schengen territory”.

In this way, it is considered proven that since April 2021 the vessel, with the flag of the Republic of Vanuatu, was being investigated on suspicion that it was working as a mother ship in the transport of drugs, making voyages of several days of navigation, until reaching the Moroccan coast “where he would load huge amounts of drugs, mainly hashish.”

For this reason, based on the investigations carried out, an electronic monitoring device was installed on April 7, 2021. That same day, at around 5:00 p.m., the vessel put out to sea from Huelva with three crew members heading south, lighting the AIS system upon leaving the port bound for Casablanca (Morocco). Upon reaching further south of Casablanca the vessel turned off the AIS system.

The sentence continues, noting that on April 11, 2021, the boat made two stops in areas very close to the Moroccan coasts, “for a significant time for the purposes of probable loading of hashish” after the intervention. Between April 12 and 13 “it headed for Ceuta and on April 13, within the Spanish waters close to Ceuta, the vessel was boarded by agents of the Civil Guard” identifying there bundles of hashish grouped in sacks white stowage”.

At the time of the intervention, the agents detained the three crew members inside the boat, identified as the skipper of the boat, the mechanic, and a sailor, and 200 bales of hashish with a total net weight of 5,885 kilos of purity were seized. between 16.9 and 32.1 and an estimated value in the illicit market of about 11.6 million euros, as well as different effects. In addition, the owner of the boat was a Finnish woman with a legal representative in the city of Riga (Latvia).

For all these reasons, in addition to the prison sentence and the payment of the fines, the court agreed to the confiscation and destruction of the seized drugs, as well as the confiscation of the seized effects belonging to those already convicted, telephones, computers, electronic devices, cards telephone calls, documentation and other effects.

The sentence, although it was in accordance, was appealed by the defense of the convicted, considering that the court of first instance “infringed a legal precept for not having agreed to the full substitution of prison and substitute arrest corresponding to the fines for expulsion from the national territory”, since the TSJA has dismissed this point confirming the judgment of the Provincial Court of Huelva.


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