Spain's Guardia Civil honored two members of the Royal Gibraltar Police for cross-frontier work in helping combat money laundering and drug trafficking operations.
The ceremony took place on Sunday during the Festivity of the Guardia Civil Patron Virgin del Pilar and the officers were awarded the Orden del Merito.
In front of a large audience, Chief Inspector Sean Perera and Detective Inspector Craig Goldwin were particularly praised for their involvement in a number of international operations carried out in 2019.
These operations targeted members of a high profile Spanish crime syndicate which used Gibraltar to carry out some of its money laundering operations and as a hiding place, out of reach of the Guardia Civil.
Following other Guardia Civil operations in Spain, a total of 103 individuals from this Organized Crime Group were arrested, including all its senior figures. In addition, numerous high value assets were seized.
In the collaborative operation, the two RGP officers had been involved in a range of activities, including intelligence-gathering, searches, arrests and the extradition of several people from Gibraltar into Spain.
The work of the two RGP officers was recognized at senior levels within the Guardia Civil but the final approval for these awards to be presented to CI Perera and DI Goldwin came from Fernando Grande-Marlaska, the Spanish Minister for the Interior.
Richard Ullger, the Commissioner of Police attended the ceremony in Tarifa and, after the event he said: ‘My officers’ work was of international importance in the fight against drug trafficking and money laundering and I am delighted that it has been formally recognized in this way by the senior officers of the Guardia Civil. Indeed, the award of this medal is historic as it was approved by the Minister of the Interior himself.
Present at Sunday’s event were the Director General of the Guardia Civil Maria Gamaz and the Coronel from the Comandancia of the Guardia Civil in Algeciras, who was instrumental in achieving these awards for the RGP officers. They were full of praise for the excellent working relationship between the RGP and the Guardia Civil.’