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'Real blow' Cocaine worth millions destined for Europe seized from fishing boat in Caribbean

The high-purity drugs found on board would likely have had a street value of several hundred million pounds to criminal networks in Europe.

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4.2 tonnes of cocaine were seized

4.2 tonnes of cocaine were seized

4.2 tonnes of cocaine were seized

A EUROPEAN police-led operation has resulted in the seizure of 4.2 tonnes of cocaine, worth an estimated €130m, that was destined for Europe. 

The Uk’s National Crime Agency last year identified a fishing vessel that was likely to be used carrying the drugs.

Two weeks ago a French naval vessel operating out of Martinique intercepted and boarded the boat in international waters east of Barbados.

The high-purity drugs found on board would likely have had a street value of several hundred million pounds to criminal networks in Europe.

The boat and her eight crew were apprehended and handed over to administrative and judicial authorities.

Officers from the NCA’s international network shared intelligence and coordinated the deployment of law enforcement and military assets, working closely with international partners through the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre (MAOC-N) in Lisbon.

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The cocaine was seized from a fishing boat

The cocaine was seized from a fishing boat

The cocaine was seized from a fishing boat

Deputy Director Tom Dowdall, head of NCA International, said: “The role played by the NCA in identifying and locating the vessel was critical to the success of the operation.

“Through MAOC-N we were then able to ensure that the boat was intercepted by our partners, in this case the French Navy.

“Working with our European partners we have stopped a huge haul of drugs from making it onto the European market, and I’ve no doubt some of that would have ended up in the UK in the hands of criminal gangs also engaged in violence and exploitation.

“A seizure of this size will have a dramatic impact on the organised crime groups involved, and deprive them of huge profits.”

French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly tweeted: "The record for a cocaine seizure by the French Navy dates back to 2006 with 4.3 tons.

"Such a volume corresponds to a market resale value of around €130 million in France. This operation is a real blow for traffickers, I am pleased to say."

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