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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Spanish police seize cannabis hidden in consignment of frozen sardine

A perfect reference to Sec 5 of Marine Insurance Act, 1963.

Sardines, or pilchards, are common names used to refer to various small, oily fish within the herring family of Clupeidae. In Tamilnadu / Kerala, they are known as ‘mathi’ ~ the photo above is not of Sardine but placed because it is beautiful [source : unknown]  The United Kingdom's Sea Fish Industry Authority, for example, classifies sardines as young pilchards. Typically, sardines are caught with encircling nets, particularly purse seines. Many modifications of encircling nets are used, including traps or weirs. The fish are caught mainly at night, when they approach the surface to feed on plankton. After harvesting, the fish are submerged in brine while they are transported to shore. Sardines are commercially fished for a variety of uses: for bait; for immediate consumption; for drying, salting, or smoking; and for reduction into fish meal or oil. The chief use of sardines is for human consumption, but fish meal is used as animal feed, while sardine oil has many uses, including the manufacture of paint, varnish and linoleum.

Daily Mail reports that Spanish police seized 900 kilos of cannabis stuffed inside consignment of frozen sardines. Customs officials tracked the cargo from Morocco, North Africa, to Marbella; Police found cannabis hidden underneath frozen sardines.  Is this what people call ‘something fishy’…..  the Spanish police smelt something fishing of the consignment of  frozen sardines in Marbella ~ and  their suspicions were proved right when they opened up the container and found a staggering 900 kilos of cannabis stuffed underneath the frozen fish - worth more than £3.6million. The operation - codenamed Maria - led to the arrest of 14 suspected traffickers and the confiscation of the cannabis.

Customs officials had tracked the cargo from Morocco in North Africa to a dockside warehouse in Cadiz, southwestern Spain. From there it was transported on to a luxury villa in Marbella, southern Spain, where it was seized by police. 'Officers found 325 kilos of hashish hidden inside the frozen sardines in the refrigeration truck,' said a police spokesman. 'A further 570 kilos was intercepted in a warehouse of El Puerto de Santa Marma in Cadiz,' he added. Police had been monitoring the gang for more than a month after the syndicate leader arrived in Spain from Morocco to plan the shipment. It comes after a sailor caught on a yacht carrying £20million worth of cocaine died last month after he fell from his mast trying to escape customs officials.

In that incident, the  Dutch national was heading to Cornwall from Portugal but made a distress call to coast guard after suffering problems. The following day when customs officers entered the vessel, named ‘Windrose’, to carry out an inspection the man panicked and climbed up the yacht's mast. The unnamed man fell off the mast and landed on the quayside, suffering such severe injuries that he later died in hospital. The boat was subsequently towed to Newlyn, Cornwall, where a full search uncovered the illicit cargo of drugs, believed to have a street value of £20million. A Border Force spokesman said: ‘Following a search of the yacht, Windrose, a substantial quantity of cocaine, thought to be approximately 200 kilos, was discovered. ‘It is estimated that if cut and sold in the UK the drugs could have had a potential street value of around £20 million. The drugs  were removed from the Windrose and taken to a secure location for further analysis. An investigation is ongoing.’

Cannabis  is a genus of flowering plants that includes three putative varieties, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis has long been used for fibre (hemp), for seed and seed oils, for medicinal purposes, and as a recreational drug. Cannabis, also known as marijuana (from the Mexican Spanish marihuana), is a preparation of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug and as medicine. Cannabis is most often consumed for its psychoactive and physiological effects which include euphoria, relaxation, and increase in appetite. Unwanted side-effects include decrease in short-term memory, dry mouth, impaired motor skills, reddening of the eyes, paranoia and anxiety. The  United Nations has said that cannabis is the most-used illicit drug in the world. In large enough doses  it  can induce auditory and visual hallucination

Tailpiece : Sec 5 of MI Act 1963 is :  Lawful marine adventure ~ Subject to the provisions of this Act, every lawful marine adventure may be the subject of a contract of marine insurance [and an adventure which is not lawful cannot be subject matter of insurance]

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
23rd July 2013.

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