Cocaine Filled Yacht Seized Off Canaries

The Spanish National Police have seized more than 1,200 kilos of cocaine in a yacht off the coast of the Canary Islands.

The operation to board the vessel was conducted with the officers of the Civil Guard and the Tax Agency in international waters, some 600 miles west of the Canary Islands, when the crew of the Customs Surveillance patrol vessel ‘Petrel I’, based in Vigo, boarded her.

Officers found large amounts of the drug on searching the ‘Memo’, which had sailed from the South American coast, presumably destined for the Iberian Peninsula, and detained its two crew members, of Spanish and Italian nationality.

The Customs patrol vessel ‘Petrel I’ was in the intervention zone participating in a joint international maritime operation by the Spanish and French customs, called operation ‘Pascal-Lino’ in honour of two deceased customs officials from both countries.

The boarding operation was developed within the framework of international police cooperation between the National Police, Customs Surveillance of the Tax Agency and the Civil Guard, in collaboration with the British NCA, all under the coordination carried out by the Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Centre and Organised Crime (CITCO) and MAOC-N (Centre for Analysis and Maritime Operations on Drug Trafficking). Thanks to this international cooperation, it was possible to locate and track the vessel.

The yacht was sailing without a flag and is being held at the Port of Las Palmas. The joint investigation carried out by the National Police, Civil Guard and Customs Surveillance of the Tax Agency remains open to identify the criminal group that is the recipient of the narcotic substance, and is being directed by the Special Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office and the Central Investigation Court.