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Storm-battered sailors arrested in Spain after cops find four tonnes of cannabis on boat

“We suspected the vessel was being used to ship drugs across the Atlantic”

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

A pair of sailors whose boat got into trouble during a storm in the Strait of Gibraltar have been arrested in Spain after cops found four tonnes of cannabis on board.

The two British nationals, a man aged 49, and a 53-year-old woman, were detained on December 10 after an international operation involving the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The NCA, working with the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre for Narcotics (MAOC-N) in Lisbon, alerted the Spanish authorities to the vessel, which was suspected of being used to smuggle drugs from Morocco.

A Spanish customs patrol boat intercepted the boat and escorted it into the port of Cadiz where Customs and Spanish National Police officers conducted a search which revealed 30 bales of cannabis resin.

Details of the seizure have only just been made public by the Spanish police.

The man and woman remain in custody in Spain as investigations continue.

NCA International Regional Manager Steve Reynolds said this was an international operation which led to a substantial seizure of narcotics.

“We suspected the vessel was being used to ship drugs across the Atlantic, so the NCA worked closely with MAOC-N and our colleagues in Spain to have it intercepted,” he said.

“Working with our law enforcement partners we are determined to do all we can to target and disrupt the organised crime networks involved in the international drugs trade.”

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