The Spanish customs ship Fulmar seized the cargo ship and delivered it to the island of Tenerife on Thursday. On board, the authorities found three tons of cocaine worth 180 million euros.
The 4,300 dwt ship “Blume” (built in 2005) was intercepted by Spanish customs on Tuesday, 193 nautical miles from the port of Santa Cruz, according to international maritime press reports.
“The Horror of Drug Dealers” – The 61-meter special-purpose ship, the Fulmar, which is under the control of the customs service, is considered in Spain the “horror of drug traffickers.” Two high-speed boats are fixed on both sides of its hull. One of them can reach speeds of up to 50 knots.
— Guardia Civil 🇪🇸 (@guardiacivil) January 20, 2023
The international shipping database Equasis indicates that the owner of the Blume is Rentoor Chartering, and Dignatio corp. is an operator based in the Athens port of Piraeus. The Togo-flagged vessel was reportedly sailing with its AIS tracking system disabled, which last transmitted a signal on 17 January. “Blume” sailed from the port of Santos, Brazil on December 20th. His destination was Riga in Latvia, where he was supposed to arrive on 15 February.
This was reportedly followed by an extensive security operation by military and civilian authorities, including police divers, that lasted more than five hours at the Los Llanos dock. The cost of drugs is estimated at 180 million euros.
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It is reported that the entire crew of the vessel, consisting of 15 people, was arrested.
The small cargo ship has a mixed history, having been stopped by port authorities at least twice in the past year for a series of violations. First time in Turkey, where Equasis found 45 violations, including a missing flag registration certificate, expired firefighting equipment and faulty oil filtration equipment. Then Blume was detained in Russia in July, with 25 violations, including lifeboat violations.