Drugs worth £300 million intercepted while en route to the UK.

Drugs worth £300 million intercepted while en route to the UK.

In an operation spurred by information from UK authorities, law enforcement agents confiscated a massive shipment of cocaine intended for the UK.

On its trip over the Atlantic, more than 4.6 tonnes of cocaine were intercepted.

The cargo, estimated to be worth more than £300 million, was found in bags on board a Brazilian-flagged 21-metre-long tug boat when it was captured off the west coast of Africa.

The operation was sparked as a result of information supplied by the UK’s National Crime Agency with the US Drug Enforcement Agency and the Brazilian Federal Police, who have been collaborating to identify and take down criminal organisations that are engaged in drug trafficking between Brazil, Africa, and Europe.

The NCA coordinated efforts to intercept the vessel, collaborating with US, French, and Europol officials via the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre (Narcotics) in Lisbon. The French navy then boarded the ship in international seas some 400 miles off the coast of Sierra Leone.

The crew, all of whom were Brazilian nationals, was apprehended, and the cocaine was destroyed. On both sides of the Atlantic, investigations into the criminal organisations implicated are continuing.

“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,” said NCA International Deputy Director Tom Dowdall.

“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.”

Source: £300 MILLION worth of drugs intercepted en route to UK

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