Posted on August 31, 2018 by Ashleigh Cowie

Five men have been arrested on suspicion of smuggling after a significant quantity of cocaine was seized off a catamaran in the English Channel.

The vessel was transiting off the Southwest coast of Cornwall. 

Border Force vessels stopped the catamaran and escorted it to Newlyn harbour on Thursday morning. 

The five men are being questioned by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers. A spokesman for the agency said:

"As part of a National Crime Agency-led operation, the Border Force cutter HMC Vigilant intercepted a catamaran off the south-west coast of Cornwall and escorted the vessel into Newlyn harbour on Thursday morning," a spokesman for the NCA said.

"The investigation is ongoing and a significant quantity of cocaine has been removed from the boat.

"National Crime Agency and Border Force officers, supported by Devon and Cornwall Police, remain at the scene as searches continue.

"Five men have been arrested for drug trafficking offences and are now being questioned by National Crime Agency officers."

The joint operation was carried out with help from authorities including the Irish Naval Service.

The National Crime Agency called the operation a "significant seizure of cocaine" after they escorted the boat were the alleged cocaine was found to Newlyn.

They will trial next year.

It comes six weeks after hundreds of parcels stuffed with drugs were discovered on a yacht taken to a port near where the catamaran was intercepted.

Last month, Dutch nationals Maarten Peter Pieterse, 59, and Emile Adriaan Jeroen Schoemaker, 44, were arrested and are being charged with attempting to smuggle 1.6 tonnes of cocaine into the UK.

Posted in crime , news , security , operation

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