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irish link British Navy submariner arrested for Strait of Gibraltar drug running allegedly backed by Irish/Lebanese financier

Robert Mark Benson (64) was arrested late last month along with ten other alleged accomplices after Spanish police seized two vessels with 1.5 tons of hashish on board

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Robert Mark Benson was alleged to have been running drugs through the Strait of Gibraltar from North Africa

Robert Mark Benson was alleged to have been running drugs through the Strait of Gibraltar from North Africa

Robert Mark Benson was alleged to have been running drugs through the Strait of Gibraltar from North Africa

A British Navy submariner, Robert Mark Benson (64), who had the alleged backing of an Irish/Lebanese drug dealer, has been arrested in Spain on suspicion of using his military training to run drugs through the Strait of Gibraltar.

Benson was arrested late last month along with ten other alleged accomplices after Spanish police seized two vessels with 1.5 tons of hashish on board.

It is understood Spanish police were first made aware of Benson in 2020 when one hundred kilograms of hashish was found on a yacht in Cueta in North Africa.

Spanish newspaper El Pais has reported how a prosecutor in Spain alleged Benson had the backing of an Irish/Lebanese financier in Marbella, described as having the backing of people who have "a lot of money and who were almost untouchable in Marbella".

During the police investigation a number of weapons, including a fake gun and almost €6,000 in cash were uncovered.

Raids were conducted in Malaga, Madrid and Cadiz by the Policia National in Spain.

Marcos Frias, Head of the Central Brigade of Organised Crime in the country told a court that Benson allegedly had "the perfect combination of logistics and investment".

'Operation Padlock' run by the Spanish police has already dismantled what they describe as a ‘mafia’ with ‘14 years of experience’.

Benson was arrested on June 13 last year after a Spanish surveillance vessel called Fulmar boarded a boat called the 'Windwhisperer' in the Azores on June 13.

It is understood hashish was hidden inside backpacks on board the boat.

Benson was an officer in the Royal Navy's Executive Branch, serving from 1978 until 1985

He has described himself as a "real estate adviser" in the Sotogrande area of Cadiz.

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On his LinkedIn profile, he says he is 'helping buyers choose their dream property, to project managing the design and construction of clients luxury private villas'.

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