Seven Tug Crew Arrested after Cocaine Bust in Atlantic

Image Courtesy: NCA

Seven seafarers have been arrested after Spanish authorities seized close to four tons of cocaine from an ocean-going tugboat in the mid-Atlantic on October 1. 

Following the arrest of the seven men, six of them from Turkey and one from Azerbaijan, the Comoros-flagged vessel Thoran was towed into the Spanish port of Cadiz in the afternoon of October 6.

Acting on UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) intelligence, Spanish authorities intercepted the ship some 400 miles from the Spanish coast at a point between Madeira and the Azores islands.

As disclosed, “an extensive search” resulted in the discovery of 165 individual packages of cocaine, hidden in a sophisticated concealment beneath the galley floor. Each package contained around 23 kilos of powder, amounting to a total of approximately 3,700 kilos of cocaine seized.

While the destinations of the drugs can’t be known, if cut and sold in European countries they could have fetched over GBP 200 million (USD 262 million), according to the NCA.

The operation was jointly conducted by the NCA, Spanish Customs (DAVA), the Spanish National Police and the Spanish Civil Guard, and was coordinated by the multi-national Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre – Narcotics (MAOC-N) in Lisbon.

“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,” Mark Blackwell from the NCA pointed out.

“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,” Blackwell added.

Share this article

Follow World Maritime News

In Depth>

Events>

<< Dec 2017 >>
MTWTFSS
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

APM – ASIA PACIFIC MARITIME 2018

27 years in the making, APM is the premier shipbuilding & marine, workboat and offshore exhibition in Asia trusted by generations of industry professionals.

read more >

Mega Cargo Show 2018

The focus of the event is to bring all connected with cargo fraternity on a single platform…

read more >

Vietship 2018

Vietship is the largest and longest established exhibition in Vietnam featuring all aspect of Shipbuilding, Shipping and Offshore Technology.

Since its first event in 2002, Vietship has become the convergence and platform of advanced technologies regional and worldwide in shipbuilding and ship repair, marine equipment, waterway transportation and services, marine and offshore engineering.

After 16 years of eight consecutive editions, Vietship has affirm itself as an important event in enhancing cooperation and development, attracting investments, exchanging technology and creating ideal opportunities for trade promotion in the international maritime industry.

More info

read more >

LNG Bunkering Summit 2018

The conference will cover the obstacles facing both the shipping and port communities, exploring developments in conversion and new builds…

read more >