Spain will use drones to catch smugglers in Gibraltar and Andorra
In recent times, Spain’s tax agency has lost up to a €1 billion a year to cigarette smuggling, The Local reported.
It has long been an issue in La Linea de la Concepción, a town on the border with Gibraltar where smugglers regularly take advantage of the British overseas territory’s lower cigarette prices.
In tiny Andorra, as well as in the bordering Catalan town of Seo de Urgel, the main problem is the illicit transfer of huge amounts of undeclared cash into the principality.
In a bid to tackle their huge losses, the Agencia Tributaria is coughing up €474,000 in two security camera systems.
The first of these will be a fleet of drones, each one equipped with movement, vehicle and face recognition programmes.
Once targets have been sighted and pinpointed by customs officers, the drones have the ability to follow suspects to facilitate a pursuit.
Each drone will have a 30-minute flight time and will be able to operate at a range of one kilometre from the operator. ■