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In record haul, over 5 tonnes of cocaine seized off the coast of Portugal

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Officers found 183 cloth sacks filled with cocaine.

Almada:

Portuguese and Spanish authorities have seized 5.2 tonnes of cocaine from a sailboat in the high seas and arrested three suspects, the biggest drug bust in Portugal in 15 years and a world record from a sailboat, police said on Monday. Is.

With bales of cocaine piling up behind her at a naval base across the Tagus River from Lisbon, Luis Neves, director of Portugal’s Criminal Investigation Police, said the haul represented the largest amount of cocaine seized from a sailboat globally. Is.

Typically, such large quantities are found on cargo ships and large motorized vessels.

Authorities discovered 183 cloth sacks filled with cocaine destined for the continental European market, inside a sailboat in the Atlantic Ocean, some 550 kilometers off the coast of Portugal.

“We’re always expecting (more drug trafficking) and that’s the message we want to send to organizations: We’re waiting for you,” Neves said. “Those who have to fall will fall because such a quantity of narcotics is a huge fortune and a great blow to criminal groups.”

The crew members – two Spanish nationals and a Peruvian – were arrested and will be produced before a judge. Police suspect they are part of a powerful drug ring known to transport drugs from Latin America to Europe.

The head of Spain’s police narcotics unit, Antonio Duarte, said these men were already on the radar of the authorities and an arrest warrant had been issued for one of them.

According to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), the Lisbon-based EU drugs agency, the seizure comes as new gangs continue to market cocaine in Europe, establishing smuggling networks that direct producers in Latin America. European consumers. )

The agency said in its 2021 report that cocaine is the second most used illegal drug in Europe.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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