£96m of cocaine seized on boat as Scottish skipper among three Britons arrested

Three Britons, including a skipper from Stornoway, have been arrested after the French navy intercepted a boat where they seized 1.2 tonnes of cocaine worth £96m.
The 29-year-old from Scotland was allegedly at the helm of a Spanish-registered yacht that was raided on Monday, around 1,200 miles east of Martinique in the Atlantic Ocean.

The three alleged crew members were arrested and taken to the island to face criminal charges.

Image: The NCA said officers recovered around 40 bales of cocaine from the vessel. Pic: National Crime Agency/Forces armées aux Antilles
The National Crime Agency (NCA) said its officers worked alongside agents in France and Spain as part of an operation targeting a crime group suspected of shipping cocaine to Europe.
The NCA said officers recovered around 40 bales of cocaine from the vessel, with an estimated UK street value of £96m.

Spanish authorities in Marbella and Valencia have also arrested five other people suspected of involvement in the shipment.
The suspects included a 62-year-old British man, originally from Lincolnshire but now a resident in Spain, and his 24-year-old son.

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The NCA said police swooped in on the pair as they sat down at a restaurant in Marbella on Tuesday.
The operation included officers from the NCA, Spanish Policia Nacional, French customs (DNRED), the French navy, and the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre Narcotics (MAOC-N) in Lisbon.


Image: Officers swooped in on the boat on Monday. Pic: National Crime Agency/Forces armées aux Antilles
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Paul Owen, the NCA’s international liaison officer in Madrid, said: “This multi-national operation has seen a huge consignment of cocaine prevented from reaching Europe, and huge profits denied to organised criminals.
“I have no doubt that some of these drugs were destined for the UK.
“Tackling these global networks requires international law enforcement cooperation, and I’m grateful to our partners in France, Spain, the Caribbean and MAOC-N for their assistance.
“Working together we are determined to do all we can to target, disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking groups, and prevent them from fuelling violence, intimidation and decay in UK communities.”

Source : Sky News