Panga boat raises human smuggling concerns
February 23, 2014
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff deputies are looking into possible human smuggling after a panga boat was found Sunday morning on the beach across from the San Simeon Campground, according to a press release.
Deputies responded at about 7:15 a.m. to reports of the beached panga boat. Since May 2012, 11 panga boats have been confiscated in San Luis Obispo County, all but the latest were linked to drug trafficking.
Items left in and around the panga boat found Sunday suggest human smuggling and not drug trafficking.
“The preliminary investigation indicates the panga boat was transporting people. This is supported by items found in and around the boat,” said sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla. “This boat is slightly different from other panga boats that have been recovered because of the lack of storage space to transport narcotics.”
The investigation is ongoing.
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