£300 MILLION worth of drugs intercepted en route to UK

The haul was discovered in bags on board a Brazilian flagged 21-metre long tug boat, after it was intercepted off the west coast of Africa

Published

A huge UK bound shipment of cocaine has been seized by law enforcement agencies, in an operation sparked by intelligence from UK authorities.

More than 4.6 tonnes of cocaine was seized on its way across the Atlantic.

The crew, all Brazilian nationals, were detained and the cocaine was destroyed. The investigation into the criminal groups involved on either side of the Atlantic is ongoing.
The crew, all Brazilian nationals, were detained and the cocaine was destroyed. The investigation into the criminal groups involved on either side of the Atlantic is ongoing.

The haul, which would have had a street value in excess of £300 million, was discovered in bags on board a Brazilian flagged 21-metre long tug boat, after it was intercepted off the west coast of Africa.

The operation was launched after the UK’s National Crime Agency shared intelligence with the US Drug Enforcement Agency and the Brazilian Federal Police, who have been working together to identify and combat criminal networks involved in drug trafficking between Brazil, Africa and Europe.

Efforts to intercept the vessel were co-ordinated by the NCA, working alongside the US, French and Europol authorities through the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre (Narcotics) in Lisbon.

The vessel was eventually boarded by the French navy in international waters around 400 miles off the coast of Sierra Leone.

The haul, which would have had a street value in excess of £300 million, was discovered in bags on board a Brazilian flagged 21-metre long tug boat, after it was intercepted off the west coast of Africa.
The haul, which would have had a street value in excess of £300 million, was discovered in bags on board a Brazilian flagged 21-metre long tug boat, after it was intercepted off the west coast of Africa.

The crew, all Brazilian nationals, were detained and the cocaine was destroyed. The investigation into the criminal groups involved on either side of the Atlantic is ongoing.

The NCA’s International Deputy Director Tom Dowdall said: “This was a huge haul of cocaine that was stopped in transit to Europe, and it is highly likely that a proportion of it would have ended up here in the UK, fuelling violence and further criminality.

“Intelligence from the NCA’s network of international liaison officers in South America was vital to the success of the operation, but it required a huge multi-national effort, and I’m grateful for the assistance of our Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group partners in the US, as well as Brazil, France, Europol and MAOC-N.

“Working with them we are determined to do all we can to disrupt and dismantle the international crime networks involved in this deadly trade.”