Edition 1446
21 October 2017
Edition: 1446

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Large quantity of cocaine seized during high seas drugs bust

by Carrie-Marie Bratley, in News · 05-10-2017 12:22:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal’s PJ police staged a crucial drug-busting operation on the high seas, in collaboration with the Portuguese Navy and Air Force, which resulted in the seizure of around 400 kilograms of cocaine and the arrest of two foreign men.

Large quantity of cocaine seized during high seas drugs bust

Named Atlantic Race, the operation took place over several days at the start of this week to clamp down on drug trafficking by sea.
During the operation police intercepted a yacht that they had been tracking from a distance for a week, which was being used to transport a large quantity of cocaine from the Caribbean to an unspecified Portuguese mainland port.
Speaking at a press conference at Portimão port on Tuesday, authorities declined to identify the Portuguese port the yacht was heading for so as not to jeopardise the ongoing investigation.
The vessel was intercepted some 600 nautical miles south of the Azores and escorted back to the mainland, to Portimão port.
The two foreign crew members, an Italian and a Montenegrin, aged 58 and 45 respectively, were arrested.
Early indications suggest the men have ties to a transnational criminal organisation, implemented in several countries in Europe and Latin America.
A statement from the PJ police said the drugs – a large stash of “highly pure” cocaine weighing around 400 kilograms and worth some €20 million – was seized from the boat. It was found hidden under the beds and in wardrobes inside the boat.
The stash was being ferried from the Caribbean to Portugal, where it was intended to be distributed throughout various
countries.
The operation was staged as part of a recent investigation launched by the PJ’s National Drug
Fighting Unit following
an exchange of
information with the Lisbon-based Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre - Narcotics (MAOC-N).
Rosa Mota, head of the PJ’s national drug fighting unit, said the mega bust was also the result of “information passed on through international cooperation” which also involved “authorities from the UK and Italy.”
The investigation is ongoing with assistance from counterparts in other countries.

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Edition 1446
21 October 2017
Edition: 1446

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter