Spanish Navy and UK NCA Seize Cocaine Freighter In Atlantic
Twenty-eight people have been arrested after over four tonnes of cocaine was seized on a boat in the Atlantic in an international operation involving the Spanish Navy, Portuguese Police and the British National Crime Agency.
The boat was reportedly stopped at around 6am on 25th April, around 600 miles off the coast of the Portuguese capital Lisbon and found to be carrying 152 packages containing 30 kilogrammes of cocaine each.
The boat had reportedly set off from Panama before stopping in Venezuela and was destined for the city of Vigo in northwestern Spain.
The boat was boarded by the Spanish national police and tax office agents before being escorted to Vigo with 4.5 tonnes of cocaine on board.
The police arrested all 16 members of the crew, 15 of whom were reportedly of Bangladeshi nationality and one Spaniard.
Officers arrested another 12 people on land who are suspected to have been preparing to carry drugs on other vessels, with four speed boats seized in warehouses on the coast.
Reports state Braulio Vazquez, a businessman who belongs to a family working in aluminium treatment, is among the suspects arrested by police during the operation.
Two other men reportedly belonging to the Santorum family who have allegedly been working in drug trafficking in the Galicia region of northwestern Spain for a decade, were also arrested.
The police operation, named Donkey, is still ongoing as the officers believed that important drug traffickers from Galicia are behind the cargo. The British National Crime Agency, the DEA and the Colombian police also participated in the operation.
According to local media, drug trafficking in Spain has been made easier as police officers are working in guaranteeing safety during the coronavirus lockdown.
The investigation is ongoing and there could be more arrests.