More than four tonnes of high-purity cocaine were discovered on a fishing vessel that was intercepted far off the coast of Barbados, according to information revealed by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA).
The NCA said about a week ago on January 17, a French Navy ship operating out of Martinique intercepted and boarded the boat, which carried a Venezuelan flag, in international waters east of Barbados.
Investigators said the contraband, estimated to have a street value of hundreds of millions of pounds was destined for the UK and Europe.
Deputy Director Tom Dowdall, head of NCA International, said: “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.”
The boat and her eight crew were handed over to administrative and judicial authorities in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas.
Investigators from the NCA partnered with international partners through the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre (MAOC-N) based in Lisbon to track the illegal operation over several months.
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