Murder kidnapping and 2300 kilos of cocaine the odyssey of

Murder, kidnapping and 2,300 kilos of cocaine: the odyssey of “Sea Paradise” | Spain

Sea Paradise's odyssey began the day this rusty deep-sea tugboat was chartered from the Virgin Islands for a cocaine-laden voyage to Europe. The ten crew members made their way to the Canary Islands, where they planned to transfer the 2,300 kilos of cocaine they had on board to another smaller ship, and the matter was resolved. But one of the crew members, of Serbian origin, decided to hijack the ship, kill one of his cronies and hold the rest hostage. A strange twist in the middle of the Atlantic. The GEO command of the National Police, ready to attack the tugboat, knew before setting sail on the Condor – the very fast customs patrol boat that was supposed to take them to the destination – that the work would be very complicated: no only they had to set sail in haste and take over the tug to embark at night, which was their usual work; They also had to spend hours negotiating with the hijacker, freeing the crew, arresting them all and locating the drugs. All in about 15 hours.

The tug was taken in November, but details were not known until the summary secrecy was lifted. The Sea Paradise has been rusting for almost three months at the Los Llanos dock in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where it was taken after the police operation. The tugboat, which flew the Panamanian flag and had been in service for 51 years, fell under the police radar because of its possible use to transport drugs.

The patrol boat “Condor”, in a picture from the SVA.The patrol boat “Condor”, in a picture from the SVA.

The ship was inspected when it was learned that it had been loaded with 2.3 tons of cocaine in the Dominican Republic with about ten crew members on board. Lots of people for a tug with a strange profile. Measuring 45 meters long and 14 meters wide, it was put to sea in 1973 under the Liberian flag and named Torquoise Bay. But a few hours before the planned embarkation, the investigators learned (they do not clarify how) that “one of the crew members of the tug, of Serbian origin, had kidnapped the rest of the crew.” In order to take control of the boat, the kidnapper would also have a “The men shot him and then threw his body into the sea,” the police reported in a press release on Wednesday.

The Cóndor (43 meters long, 23 knots…) was already ready to attack. A GEOS crew headed out to confront the hijacking. “In less than 12 hours, the response team was at the location in the Atlantic where the ship was located,” the statement said. A negotiation lasting “several hours” began with the kidnapper, who was armed and essentially locked up and brought the rest of the inmates under control. “So they managed to save the crew, who feared for their lives.”

The ship was taken to Santa Cruz. The bales of drugs were found in a remote hiding place, in a tank on the tugboat. They were linked together, carrying strobe lights and floating buoys, indicating that the cache was to be launched and picked up by a second ship on the surface. The Sea Paradise and its unique tower can be seen in Los Llanos, where it has been anchored since November 13th.

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