A 42-foot sailing boat flying the Union Jack has been seized by Spanish customs after they found a 2,000-kilogramme stash of cocaine worth GBP 60 million on board.
The investigation was the result of cooperation between the Spanish authorities and Britain’s National Crime Agency.
The footage shows the seized vessel being escorted into port by a large vessel belonging to the Spanish authorities after they boarded it in the Bay of Biscay and detained its four crew – a Spaniard, a Colombian national and two Venezuelan citizens.
The 13-metre (42-foot) ‘sloop’ called ‘Night Falls’ was intercepted 30 nautical miles off the Cantabrian coast with 2,000 kilogrammes (4,410 lbs) of the Class A drug on board worth EUR 70 million (GBP 60 million), the Spanish authorities announced on Wednesday, 2nd August.
Newsflash obtained a joint statement from the Spanish Tax Agency, Guardia Civil and National Police on Wednesday, 2nd August, saying they intercepted the British-flagged sailing boat “with 2,000 kilogrammes of cocaine in the Cantabrian Sea, 30 nautical miles off the Spanish coast.”
The statement also said: “The patrol boat ‘Alcaravan I’ from the Customs Surveillance Service, based in Santander, carried out the boarding as part of an international operation coordinated by MAOC-N and CITCO.
“The operation resulted in the arrest of the four crew members of different nationalities.”
The authorities said that the crew was made up of a Spaniard, a Colombian national and two Venezuelan citizens.
A second piece of footage shows the suspects being frogmarched to police cars.
The authorities said: “Such an arrest is extremely exceptional in the Cantabrian coast area.”
They said that the boat was a “13-metre ‘sloop’ type sailboat named ‘Night Falls’ with the flag of the United Kingdom, approximately 30 nautical miles off the coast of Santander, carrying approximately 2,000 kilogrammes of cocaine valued at around EUR 70 million.”
The investigation was the result of cooperation between the Spanish authorities and Britain’s National Crime Agency, based on intelligence provided by the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre-Narcotics, a law enforcement endeavour involving six European Union countries and the UK.