Spanish police arrest drugs gang in Mediterranean after high-speed chase

BARCELONA (Reuters) - A gang of drugs traffickers has been arrested after a dramatic speedboat chase across over 100 miles of the Mediterranean during which they tried to dump bags of hashish, police said on Saturday.

A video taken by a police helicopter during the five hour pursuit last week showed masked smugglers taking photographs and waving to the officers.

The five members of the gang were later arrested after their speedboat was intercepted by a customs patrol boat off the coast of Cartagena, in southeastern Spain.

Police seized two tonnes of hashish hidden in 66 packages which the gang intended to smuggle from Morocco to Valencia in Spain.

The chase started when the police helicopter spotted the 14-metre speedboat, which had two 300 horsepower engines, off the coast of Cartagena loaded with bales of drugs.

"Agents of the police and the customs, in a combined operation, detained five members who were in a drugs boat after a chase at high sea in which they tried to throw the drugs overboard," police said in a statement.

(Reporting by Graham Keeley; Additional reporting by Silvio Castellanos; Editing by Mike Harrison)

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