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Video:Meli yenye usajili wa Tanzania yakamatwa na madawa ya kulevya yenye thamani ya £50 million bahari ya Mediterranean

Up in flames: The Tanzanian-registered cargo ship MV Gold Star is seen with its bridge in flames

This is the dramatic moment when drug smugglers set fire to a ship carrying more than £50 million worth of hashish after being spotted by customs officials.

 

Thick, dense plumes of smoke quickly billowed from the bridge of the Gold Star freighter just minutes after it was 'buzzed' by a helicopter from the Italian coastguard.

 

The nine people on board the Tanzanian registered ship then jumped overboard as they attempted to avoid being arrested but they were miles out to sea and had to be plucked to safety.

 

Italian customs officials intercepted the Gold Star as it sailed off the coast of Sicily in the Mediterranean following a tip off that it was carrying a huge consignment of drugs and she had been followed for several days before the operation was launched.

 

Besides a helicopter several fast patrol boats were used in the 'raid' and a search of the ship's hold revealed a massive consignment of drugs, 30 tons of hashish which had been loaded on board in Turkey.

 

Italian officials said the crew were Syrian and Egyptians and before they could board the 82 metre 38-year-old ship they had to obtain permission from Tanzania where it was registered.

 

Firefighting boats had to be called in to put out the flames and the ship was today being towed to the Sicilian port of Syracuse where the arrested men were also being held before being questioned.

 

A spokesman for Italian Customs said: 'The ship was intercepted after intelligence was received that it was carrying drugs - but we never expected such a huge consignment and for the crew to set her on fire.

 

'The idea was no doubt to try and destroy the evidence so that we could have no case against them but their plan failed and the fire was put out and the drugs were found during the search.

 

'Nine people on board jumped into the sea but they couldn't get very far as they were several miles from shore and they had to be rescued by Italian customs officers.

 

'The fire is now under control and the ship is being taken to a port where it will be thoroughly searched again and the nine crew members will be questioned by prosecutors.'

Night vision: An Armed Forces of Malta vessel (right) battles the fire

Black cloud: Smugglers decided to set their drug haul on fire, which was evidently noticeable to customs officials

No way out: Customs officials pull up alongside the burning vessel as the game is up

Watch Video below

 

MailOnline.

Views: 970

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Comment by Tulonge on September 10, 2013 at 13:12

Asante kwa updates mkuu Ilya

Comment by ILYA on September 9, 2013 at 21:30

Kwa bahati nzuri ndani ya meli hiyo hakuwepo Mtanzania hata mmoja lakini kwa bahati mbaya meli hiyo iliyokuwa imebeba mzigo huo haramu imesajiliwa nchini Tanzania kwa maana kabla ya wao kupakia mzigo huo ni lazima wapate kibali kutoka Tanzania iliposajiliwa.Wale wenye ujuzi wa kulamba chumvi ndio wamebahatika kupiga mbizi chini ya bahari na wengine wakatiwa mbaroni ambapo inasemekana watu waliokamatwa mmojawao alikuwa ni raia wa Misri na mwingine raia wa Syria na wengine haikujulikana haraka wanatokea mataifa yepi.Lakini taarifa za kuaminika zinasema kwamba hakuwepo mtanzania yeyote katika timu hiyo ya wabebaji wa madawa hayo haramu ya mihadarati.
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Kwa ufupi inaonekana mzigo uliotajwa ulikuwa ni mzigo wa kushiba kiasi kwamba ukitajiwa bei yake utachoka kuyahesabu yale masifuri !.Lakini swali la kujiuliza ni hili:
Hao wanaotaja bei ya mzigo uliokamatwa kama huo wa dawa hizo za kulevya huwa wanatoa wapi hiyo rate yenyewe?!.
Hiyo tathmini wanaijua toka wapi ?!.Ikiwa mtu hujui soko la bidhaa fulani utajuaje thamani yake kama si kujua kule sokoni kunapouzwa mzigo huo?!.
Ile kutaja tu kuwa tani 30 za mihadarati zilizokamatwa thamani yake ni shilingi bilioni 123 ! hapo kuna Question Mark like ?.
Vita dhidi ya unga ngumu kweli maana vinakamatwa vidagaa viduchu viduchu mapapa wanapiga mbizi.Enewei inaonekana ulikuwa mzigo wa kushiba maana tani 30 si mchezo,sawa na lori tatu zilizoshiba za tani 10!.
Sura ya Tanzania inazidi kuchafuliwa katika suala zima la kusafirisha na kuingiza dawa haramu za kulevya a.k.a UNGA WA SEMBE.

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