By Deirdre Tynan • 22 September 2021 • 15:04
More than two tonnes of cocaine seized and six arrested after swoop on luxury yacht.
Six men have been charged with drug trafficking offences. The men – one Briton from Stockton on Tees, County Durham, and five Nicaraguans – were arrested on 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 Border Force.
The suspects were aboard the Kahu, a luxury Jamaican-flagged yacht sailing from the Caribbean. It was escorted back to the UK mainland where a team carried out a deep rummage search and discovered the enormous haul of Class A.
The men, whose ages range from 24 to 49, were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking and are in custody awaiting interview.
The arrests demonstrate the strength of the NCA’s international partnerships – working with the AFP who as part of the operation used evidence from their Operation Ironside – the country’s investigation into the AnOm encrypted comms platform.
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,” he added.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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