Whilst conducting a routine patrol of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters on board HM Customs Vessel Tango II, officers of HM Customs Marine Section recently found an unusual method of smuggling cigarettes.

When they were entering the Waterport basin around midday, the Customs Officers saw a small RHIB crewed by a single male, towing an inflatable boat. The RHIB and the inflatable were leaving Ocean Village Marina, heading in a north-westerly direction. This aroused the Officers’ suspicion and so the RHIB’s occupant was challenged.

Having boarded the RHIB and the inflatable boat, the officers found a commercial amount of cigarettes hidden inside the inflatable. The man in the RHIB, a Spanish National, was immediately arrested for the possession of a commercial amount of cigarettes and for being knowingly concerned in the exportation of the same.

The RHIB and inflatable boat were taken to the Customs Marine Base where the full amount of cigarettes was extracted, counted and processed. The total amount of cigarettes seized was 150 cartons of various brands.