Panga boat raises human smuggling concerns

February 23, 2014

pangaSan 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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Interesting article from the Mercury News. A panga boat was found as far North as Santa Cruz.

Unfortunately, the reporter just dropped the ball after reporting that the Coast Guard had a cut in budget. So I ask why can’t the military with bases up and down the coast spare a few pilots to operate coast guard spotter planes? After all, they’re all working for the same country, aren’t they?