The Civil Guard and Customs Surveillance of Las Palmas have dismantled a network that is accused of stealing up to 208 motors from boats and cayucos that arrived in 2020 at the Arguineguín dock (Gran Canaria) and then selling them to Senegalese buyers with the help of false customs documentation .
Fourteen people have been arrested – another is being investigated – who are accused of alleged crimes against the Public Administration and the rights of foreign citizens, belonging to a criminal group, smuggling, misappropriation, reception, falsification of documents and simulation of crime.
The events began after the Tax Analysis and Investigation Office of the Civil Guard of the Port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Maritime Customs Risk Analysis Unit of the Tax Agency opened a maritime container in which they found 52 outboard motors with identical characteristics to those used by the cayucos from the African countries from which the migratory route that leads to the Canary Islands starts.
This finding led the Civil Guard to relate their illicit origin to a complaint filed at the Puerto Rico barracks in which it was claimed that “unknown perpetrators had stolen about 100 outboard motors belonging to boats, in addition to 30 carafes of fuel and an inflatable boat ”, the armed institute reported in a statement.
The investigation opened to clarify this complaint made it possible to verify that its author, together with another employee of the company responsible for the Arguineguín dock, assisted by a neighbor of Santa Lucía de Tirajana, transferred outboard engines deposited in the port area to an external warehouse, outside to the enterprise. The police procedures carried out confirmed that the seller of these engines was the sentimental partner of the neighbor of Santa Lucía de Tirajana. This woman is blamed for having sold 208 engines to citizens mostly of Senegalese origin, with the help of some exporters.
All these investigations made it possible to detect “three perfectly organized subgroups, whose differentiated tasks consisted of obtaining and later transferring engines off the Arguineguín dock, as well as their sale to third parties.”
A subgroup, made up of eight exporters, was dedicated to moving the engines to Senegal and another, made up of people linked to the customs field, was in charge of issuing certificates of proper operation of the engines and falsifying the customs documentation necessary to carry out their exports.