Gijón (EFE).- The Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop, has valued this Thursday the work carried out to refloat the ship Nehir, intercepted almost two years ago 90 miles from the Lugo coast of A Mariña with 1, 8 tons of kilos of cocaine, tasks that have prevented an environmental disaster since it carried more than 40 tons of diesel inside.
The merchant ship Nehir was intervened in February 2021 at the request of the Central Investigating Court number 1 of the National Court, having located inside it 92 packages containing 1,831 packages of cocaine weighing approximately one kilo each.
Subsequently, it was transferred to the Gijón port of El Musel where, given the notice from the Gijón Port Authority of a situation of very high environmental risk due to possible fuel spills, the process for its refloating was activated, after extracting more than 40 tons of diesel that the ship had inside.
The Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop, who chaired today in the port of Gijón the meeting to evaluate and monitor the work to refloat the ship Nehir, has highlighted the collaboration and inter-institutional cooperation of the administrations involved in the operation and has valued the work of the Archive Management and Recovery Office (ORGA).
“Complex” operation to safeguard the environment
Llop has stated that the operation, financed with almost 800,000 euros from the Ministry of Justice, has been “very complex” and that in order to “safeguard the environment” the fuel has first had to be extracted and a security perimeter has been installed environmental protection to contain the damage in the event of a leak.
Llop has highlighted the work of the ORGA and that, with the funds that this body has recovered, his Ministry has been able to carry out actions such as financing DNA sample collection kits that are used above all in cases of aggression sexual and in terms of chemical submission.
The minister has also asked to respect the secrecy of the investigation underway in the National Court into the whereabouts of another 66 bales of cocaine that the crew say were left on the ship.
However, members of the National Police’s Technical Intervention Operational Group (GOIT) carried out two exhaustive searches inside the ship last week without any results, which led to the suspension of the search.
After its capture on the high seas almost two years ago, and given the risk of sinking intentionally caused by its own crew -formed by nine citizens of Turkey and Georgia- and the danger to navigation in the area, the ship was transferred to the port of Gijón where it remains until now.
Last December, the magistrate judge of the Central Investigating Court number 1 entrusted the ORGA with the destruction and treatment of the vessel as waste and this month the Council of Ministers approved the declaration of emergency in the contracting of the refloating of the vessel for an amount of 776,069 euros. EFE