Cocaine worth EUR 46m seized off coast of Galicia

17th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

17 March 2006, PONTEVEDRA — Some 800 kilos of cocaine were seized and 15 people arrested during an operation against an international drug-trafficking ring.

17 March 2006

PONTEVEDRA — Some 800 kilos of cocaine were seized and 15 people arrested during an operation against an international drug-trafficking ring.

Civil Guard officers working with the Spanish customs service and Portuguese police took part in the operation, in which a boat carrying the drugs was intercepted as it travelled toward Spain's northwestern coast.

All 15 people on board the vessel were taken into custody.

The cocaine would have had a street value of up to EUR 46 million.

Five of those arrested were Spanish, seven were from Cape Verde, one was Peruvian, one Chilean and another was Ukrainian.

"At the moment it was to be boarded, the boat began to flee," the statement said, adding that at that moment "one of the crew members threw the merchandise in the water."

It noted that "once the boat was finally intercepted and (agents) proceeded to board the vessel, five bales of cocaine were seized inside."

"Later, a portion of the (drugs) thrown in the sea was recovered, (bringing the total seized to) 22 bales of cocaine with an approximate total weight of 800 kilos," the statement said.

The operation was the product of an investigation which started in May 2004, when the Civil Guard learned that a group of individuals may be planning to smuggle a large quantity of cocaine into the country.

It follows the seizure on Monday of more than 400 kilos of cocaine - shipped from Ecuador in a container - in the port of the northwestern Spanish city of Vigo.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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