A captain of a sailboat was apprehended in the world’s largest cocaine bust.


A captain of a sailboat was apprehended in the world’s largest cocaine bust.

The largest cocaine haul ever from a sailing yacht has been confiscated by Spanish authorities.

On Oct. 16, more than 5,200 kilograms (almost 6 tons) of cocaine was seized in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the Iberian Peninsula aboard a 77-foot single-mast yacht. The three passengers on board were detained.

Though Spanish police did not reveal the identities of those arrested, they did say the trio used phony names and staged a false flag operation to “hide a criminal act.” Authorities claimed one of those apprehended was a well-known sailor who is wanted in connection with another cocaine bust that was foiled in March of last year.

Authorities investigations “began early this year into a multinational organization allegedly geared to the export of enormous quantities of cocaine from Colombia and Venezuela to Europe,” according to police.

“They accomplished this by utilizing leisure boats, particularly yachts and sailing vessels. It was possible to identify not only those who carried out the storage and export of the narcotic from South America, but also those who distributed the drug from Spain and Portugal to the rest of Europe, through this investigation process and the information constantly exchanged by the anti-drug agencies involved.” Authorities knew ahead of time that the unnamed vessel, bearing a Spanish flag, was scheduled to transport a supply of cocaine to the Iberian Peninsula in September, where it would be picked up by speedier vessels and ferried onshore.

An assault squad from the Portuguese Navy, as well as operatives from the Spanish National Police and the Portuguese justice police, stormed the cocaine-laden yacht.

Agents navigate the vessel’s small corridors, which were filled with cocaine bales, as well as living rooms, which had more illegal drug packs, in video recorded after the bust. The bales from the boat are then displayed on a wharf in a subsequent picture.

The bust included the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom, the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States, and the Anti-Narcotics Directorate of the Colombian National Police, in addition to Portuguese and Spanish agencies.

The bust was the largest ever made on a sailboat, according to investigators, but it pales in comparison to the largest such seizures. This is a condensed version of the information.


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