The seized cocaine worth $260m
Nearly four tonnes of cocaine worth an estimated $260m have been seized by international law enforcement officers in the Atlantic. The drugs were found on a tugboat between Portugal’s Madeira and Azores islands.
Officials found 165 individual packages of cocaine weighing 23kg – a total of 3.7 tonnes – concealed beneath the vessel’s cooking area.
It is not clear where the drugs were being taken to. The Comoros-flagged vessel was towed into the Spanish port of Cádiz on Friday after Spanish officials received intelligence from the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).
The crew, from Turkey and Azerbaijan, were arrested.The operation was jointly conducted by Spanish customs and police and the NCA under the overall co-ordination of the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre-Narcotics (MAOC-N) in Lisbon.
“Seizing this quantity of cocaine represents a major disruption to international crime groups, depriving them of revenue potentially running into the hundreds of millions of pounds,” NCA spokesman Mark Blackwell said.
There have been two other big Atlantic drug busts in recent months. Thirteen Spanish citizens of Moroccan origin were arrested on Monday over what is believed to be a record seizure of cocaine in the North African country, officials there said. BBC