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Old 20-07-2021, 02:45   #1
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My yacht is impounded

In 2020 I gave my mechanic permission to use our yacht so that he could accompany a charter fleet across the Atlantic. Or so he said.
Our yacht was boarded west of the Canaries and a large consignment of drugs were found on board.
He was arrested, and as far as we know our yacht is still impounded in the Canaries.
Quotes to engage a Spanish lawyer were about the same value as the yacht, so we didn't pursue the legal route.
No one has contacted us.
Can anyone offer advice as to how to reclaim our yacht?
Yacht is registered in Croatia. We live in South Africa.
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Old 20-07-2021, 02:57   #2
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Re: My yacht is impounded

There's not much you can do without a lawyer. Depending on local law, there might not be much you can do even WITH a lawyer. A preliminary consultation with a local lawyer should be free -- you need to start with that.
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Old 20-07-2021, 03:00   #3
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My yacht is impounded

Quote:
Originally Posted by gibsonih View Post
In 2020 I gave my mechanic permission to use our yacht so that he could accompany a charter fleet across the Atlantic. Or so he said.

During the pandemic or before?
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Old 20-07-2021, 03:19   #4
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Re: My yacht is impounded

If your mechanic had stolen the yacht then you'd be in a better position to retrieve perhaps? It's unfortunate that you admitted in writing that you gave him permission to use it.

While you may have given him permission to use it recreationally, you didn't give him permission to use it in the way he did use it and certainly you expected to have the boat back by now, so perhaps you would still be justified in reporting it to Spanish authorities as stolen property and that would be a route to getting it back?

I'm sure they'd actually be very happy to be relieved of the problem of storing or disposing of it if you gave them a reasonable excuse.
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Old 20-07-2021, 03:36   #5
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Re: My yacht is impounded

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Originally Posted by gibsonih View Post
No one has contacted us.
If no one has contacted you, how do you know the boat was impounded?

LW77
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Old 20-07-2021, 03:52   #6
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Re: My yacht is impounded

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Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
If no one has contacted you, how do you know the boat was impounded?

LW77
Plus do they know who you are and were they can contact you?

Perhaps write, yes write to them explaining and include evidence like copies of the ships papers and an insurance certificate. Dodgy people don't normally insure yachts.

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Old 20-07-2021, 03:56   #7
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Re: My yacht is impounded

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
If no one has contacted you, how do you know the boat was impounded?

LW77
Probably been in the papers, might even be this one:


https://www.canarianweekly.com/posts...-west-la-palma
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Old 20-07-2021, 03:57   #8
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Re: My yacht is impounded

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Originally Posted by chris14679 View Post
If your mechanic had stolen the yacht then you'd be in a better position to retrieve perhaps? It's unfortunate that you admitted in writing that you gave him permission to use it.

While you may have given him permission to use it recreationally, you didn't give him permission to use it in the way he did use it and certainly you expected to have the boat back by now, so perhaps you would still be justified in reporting it to Spanish authorities as stolen property and that would be a route to getting it back?

I'm sure they'd actually be very happy to be relieved of the problem of storing or disposing of it if you gave them a reasonable excuse.
Yes, because no one who ever used their boat for drug smuggling thought to declare it stolen after the crew got caught with drugs.

All that would do, would give the drug agents a good laugh for ten minutes or so.

This guy needs a lawyer who has done this before.

It almost sounds like he is trying to generate some evidence to bolster his claims of innocence with this posting. “See, I had no idea drugs would be involved. I even told that story on a cruising forum.”
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Old 20-07-2021, 04:19   #9
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Re: My yacht is impounded

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris14679 View Post
. . . I'm sure they'd actually be very happy to be relieved of the problem of storing or disposing of it if you gave them a reasonable excuse.

Very unlikely.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Group9 View Post
. . . This guy needs a lawyer who has done this before. . . .

This. Any other activity at this point is a waste of time.
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Old 20-07-2021, 04:52   #10
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pirate Re: My yacht is impounded

If it's a decent yacht wave bye bye..
Once the case is settled and trial and sentencing is completed some Spanish guy is going to get a very cheap yacht at an 'Auction'..
If it's just average to crap you might win the bidding.
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Old 20-07-2021, 04:53   #11
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Re: My yacht is impounded

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Originally Posted by gibsonih View Post
No one has contacted us.....
Maybe not but I’m sure your phones are bugged, your cars are being tracked and your bank records are being combed over!

Sorry for your loss.
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Old 20-07-2021, 04:59   #12
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Re: My yacht is impounded

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Probably been in the papers, might even be this one:
https://www.canarianweekly.com/posts...-west-la-palma
gibsonih is from South Africa, and has [had?] a 46 foot Beneteau. I doubt that it would be Croatian-flagged, as is “MAJIC”, in the linked article.

BTW: Excellent article, Pete.
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Old 20-07-2021, 05:25   #13
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Re: My yacht is impounded

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gibsonih is from South Africa, and has [had?] a 46 foot Beneteau. I doubt that it would be Croatian-flagged, as is “MAJIC”, in the linked article.

BTW: Excellent article, Pete.
He did mention right before saying he lives in South Africa that the "Yacht is registered in Croatia." Given, as you pointed out, the unlikelihood of that in normal circumstances, it may very well be the same boat. If so the OP left out some important parts of the story!
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Old 20-07-2021, 05:27   #14
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Re: My yacht is impounded

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Originally Posted by redneckrob View Post
He did mention right before saying he lives in South Africa that the "Yacht is registered in Croatia."...
OMG, I'm an idiot!
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Old 20-07-2021, 05:54   #15
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Re: My yacht is impounded

Your best bet now it to not do anything that could be considered remotely illegal or even suspicious for several years.

Good chance they are well aware that you are the owner and may be presuming you are a participant in the smuggling. You don't want to give them any corroborating evidence.

If you are in South Africa, they may simply be laying low waiting for you to show up in the EU where they can get their hands on you without messing about with extradition.

You need a lawyer not only to figure out how to get the boat released but to determine if you are at risk of being arrested and what your best course of action is.
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