Sailors arrested for £40m worth of cocaine on yacht
Yachting & Boating World: Authorities have seized 250 kilos of cocaine in the Caribbean that was bound for the UK. Two sailors from Jersey have been arrested after £40m worth of cocaine was seized from their yacht in the Caribbean.
In a joint operation by the National Crime Agency (NCA), Metropolitan Police and the French Authorities on Monday, the vessel was intercepted and the pair arrested.
Officials say the two men, aged 57 and 42, had been attempting to bring the drugs to the UK and will now face prosecution by the French authorities.
The UK-registered vessel SY Hygeia of Hasla was boarded by the French Customs Coast Guard off Martinique as it began a transatlantic crossing.
Monday’s drug bust was the result of an investigation into a London-based crime group, with connections to the Caribbean, suspected of importing large quantities of class A drugs.
The NCA’s head of international operations Hank Cole, said: “The NCA used its international reach and worked with partners in the UK and abroad to track this vessel. Together we have stopped a huge consignment of cocaine close to source.
“We have no doubt that without this intervention the drugs would have ended up on the streets of the UK where, after being cut, they would have had a likely potential value of £30-40 million. Our investigation into the organised crime network involved in this attempt continues.”
This latest seizure of class A drugs bound for the UK is the second in recent months, with around a tonne of cocaine being seized by the Irish Naval Service on 23 September.
Detective superintendent Neil Thompson said: “Working alongside the NCA, it is clear that the drugs recovered would have been distributed throughout the streets of London and beyond, generating further criminality and fuelling gang activity.
“These arrests show that there is no criminal out there that is beyond our reach – if you deal in drugs in any scale we will find you, we will arrest you and you will face the consequences of your actions.”