The Government of Gibraltar has described as a "very serious violation" of its sovereignty and jurisdiction the entry of two agents of the Spanish Customs Surveillance Service, who were injured in various ways in the early hours of this Thursday after being stoned on the Levante beach from Gibraltar while attempting to abort a consignment of smuggled tobacco.
As they have stated, this intervention "would constitute a very serious infringement of the law" in the case of "confirming that Spanish officials fired their weapons in Gibraltar", in addition to being a "reckless and dangerous" action in an area, as they have stressed , "with a high density of civilian population, given the proximity of a residential development".
In this context, the Governments of Gibraltar and the United Kingdom have considered that the events "will require a careful evaluation in terms of the nature and level of the diplomatic response", for which they have explained that "they will contact Spanish officials to ask them for explanations about this violation of the sovereignty of Gibraltar before making a final decision on the measures to be adopted".
"The evidence surrounding this incident reveals a serious violation of British sovereignty and, potentially, the most serious and dangerous incident for many years," said the main minister, Fabián Picardo, who pointed out, however, that "before to react" they will "be sure of the facts. "But events indicate that the actions of Spanish officials are intolerable," he criticized.
For its part, the Spanish Executive has described Gibraltar's reaction as "incomprehensible". In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, the Government condemns "the aggression suffered by members of the Customs Surveillance Service" and rejects "categorically the terms of the joint declaration issued today by representatives of the British Government in relation to with the incident, as well as the claims about a supposed British sovereignty over the territory and waters of Gibraltar contained in it.This Declaration is especially incomprehensible at the moment in which Spain has put on the table an agreement to create a zone of shared prosperity ".
Finally, the Government demands "effective measures to combat smuggling that harms the entire area and wishes the Spanish agents their wishes for a speedy recovery."
As Customs Surveillance sources have explained to Europa Press, the events occurred after five in the morning when an auxiliary vessel of the Surveillance patrol boat observed movement that could be related to tobacco smuggling in waters near the Gibraltar Gate.
The agents suffered problems on the boat and while on the eastern beach of Gibraltar they were surrounded by a group of people who began to throw stones at them, some of them large. Finally, they were able to refloat the boat and reach the rowing patrol boat.
However, both agents have suffered facial injuries such as a broken nasal septum in one of them and several broken facial bones in the second, which has required hospitalization. In addition, various cuts that have required stitches
In line, the Government of Gibraltar has explained that they contacted their Spanish counterparts "to inquire about the well-being of the SVA agents in question." "Spanish law enforcement knows that they can request and have the support of Gibraltarian law enforcement if they need to continue a pursuit in Gibraltar, but it appears that they have not done so in this case," they warned.
"The illegal activity of a gang of individuals apparently involved in unlawful acts in Gibraltar is unacceptable and represents activity that the Gibraltar Government and law enforcement will not tolerate," the statement added.