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Dublin: 1 °C Tuesday 25 September, 2018
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Cocaine worth €220 million seized from tugboat in Atlantic Ocean

A total of 3.7 tonnes of the drug was seized by Spanish police after a tip off from UK authorities.

An NCA officer surveying the cocaine haul
An NCA officer surveying the cocaine haul
Image: National Crime Agency/Twitter

A MASSIVE HAUL of cocaine – worth an estimated €220 million – has been seized in the Atlantic Ocean.

The 3.7 tonne quantity of cocaine was found on a tugboat around 400 miles from the Spanish coast, between the Azores islands and Madeira.

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said it tipped off Spanish authorities, who caught up the tugboat named Thoran on 1 October.

After an extensive search, 165 individual packages of cocaine were found in a “sophisticated concealment beneath the gallery floor”.

Inside each one was approximately 23kg of powder. It is not known where the drugs would have eventually ended up.

Seven crew members on board – six men from Turkey and one from Azerbaijan – were arrested by Spanish officers, and the boat was towed into the Spanish port of Cadiz on Friday 6 October.

Mark Blackwell, of the NCA, said: “Seizing this quantity of cocaine represents a major disruption to international crime groups, depriving them of revenue potentially running into the hundreds of millions of pounds.

We’re working with colleagues in Europe and around the world to disrupt organised criminals in any way we can, and to protect UK and European borders from attempts to smuggle illegal commodities through them.

Read: Western ports now target for Kinahan drugs as informants cripple Dublin trade

Read: Authorities seize €2.4m cannabis stash at Dublin Port

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Sean Murray

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