By Laura Kemp •
Published: 11 Sep 2021 • 16:34
Six men arrested in £160m cocaine haul off Plymouth. Image - Australian Federal Police
Over two tonnes of cocaine worth around £160 million has been found and seized with six men arrested in a dramatic sea operation off the coast of Plymouth.
The men, two from the UK and five from Nicaragua, were arrested on Thursday evening, September 9, 80 miles off the coast of Plymouth in an operation led by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and supported by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Border Force.
The suspects were on a luxury Jamaican-flagged yacht sailing from the Caribbean called the Kahu. The yacht was escorted back to the mainland where a team carried out a search and found a huge amount of cocaine.
The men, aged between 24 and 49, were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking and are now in custody.
Matt Horne, NCA deputy director, said: “This is a massive haul of cocaine with an estimated street value of around £160m.
“There’s no doubt these drugs would have been sold on into communities across the UK in such ways as County Lines fuelling more crime and misery. Organised crime groups are motivated by money. The deprivation of these drugs will smash a hole in the OCG’s plans and ability to operate.
“Also, the arrests of the men transporting the drugs means the crime group has lost trusted offenders who would have been key to their operation. We continue to work with partners at home such as Border Force and those abroad such as the AFP to protect the public from the Class A drugs threat.”
AFP Assistant Commissioner Lesa Gale said: “Intelligence from Operation Ironside had enabled the AFP to assist international enforcement partners in disrupting an alleged sophisticated criminal network.
“Operation Ironside has opened the door to unprecedented collaboration across law enforcement agencies around the globe. This result highlights the importance of the AFP’s partnership with the NCA to combat offshore transnational organised crime that impacts both of our countries.
“The AFP and NCA have a strong, historic relationship and both agencies recognise the significant threat to national security posed by transnational organised crime.”
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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