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Video: Police chopper chases down speedboat smuggler at busy Spanish beach

Beachgoers in Málaga were left gobsmacked by a sudden police helicopter chase along the shore.

Video: Police chopper chases down speedboat smuggler at busy Spanish beach
Spanish police have posted a video by a witness. Photo: Screenshot

A sunny summer morning at Sabinillas beach in the Málaga municipality of Manilva turned slightly surreal for beachgoers when they heard the sound of a helicopter approaching. 

Below it was a speedboat, ploughing through the waves at great speed and heading in the same direction: a packed beach full of bemused people holding up their mobile phones.

Spanish police have posted a video by a witness that shows the helicopter hovering just a few metres above the speedboat along the shore, as the smuggler then decides to crash into the shore and make a run for it on foot.

Unfortunately the bystander's camera skills go a bit haywire after that, but we do know from local Andalusian daily Diario Sur that the smuggler was intercepted by an off-duty police officer, just as the helicopter had lost sight of him along Manilva’s beachfront.

The smuggler is said to be from La Línea de La Concepción, a coastal town close to the Strait of Gibraltar that in recent years has become a hotbed of drug trafficking.

SEE ALSO: Brazen drug trafficking alarms southern Spain

The smuggler in question was first apprehended by the police helicopter when he was supplying one of the so-called “narco speedboats” with more fuel for another trip to Morocco and back. 

Police later said the incident could have had far more disastrous consequences to the public as the smuggler was carrying several barrels of fuel on board which could have exploded when the speedboat hit the sand. 

 

POLICE

Spain’s Civil Guard police officers allowed to have visible tattoos

Spain on Monday relaxed its policy banning officers from the country's oldest police force, the Guardia Civil, from exhibiting tattoos.

civil guard spain gun
The increasing popularity of tattoos has led police forces around the world to regulate their use. Photo: Rafa Rivas/AFP

Officers will now be allowed to display tattoos anywhere on their bodies “as long as they do not contain expressions that violate constitutional values or harm the discipline or image of the force,” the interior minister said in a statement.

“For the first time visible tattoos will be allowed on uniformed officers,” it added.

On the other hand, the decree prohibits hoop earrings, spikes, plugs and other inserts when they are visible in uniform, “except regular earrings, for both male and female personnel”.

The Guardia Civil mainly patrols and investigates crimes in rural areas, while Spain’s National Police focuses on urban areas.

Last year Spain’s leftist government appointed a woman to head the force for the first time in its 177-year history.

The increasing popularity of tattoos has led police forces around the world to regulate their use.

Los Angeles police are required to ensure that tattoos are not visible to the public while on-duty, while France’s Gendarmes police force also requires that they be covered.

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