Spain seizes nearly one tonne of cocaine from yacht

17th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

Spanish authorities seized nearly one tonne of cocaine from a yacht off the Canary Islands in the Atlantic and arrested its three crew members, the interior ministry said Monday.

A Spanish customs ship intercepted the yacht, the "Liberty Belle", on Sunday some 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres) south of the Spanish holiday island of Gran Canaria, it said in a statement.

Customs agents and police seized nearly 950 kilos of cocaine (2,100 pounds) which they found inside the boat, which will be brought into the port of Las Palmas on Tuesday morning.

"The crew, two Ukrainians and a Serb, once again confirm the involvement of criminal groups in the transportation of cocaine from South America to Europe," the statement said.

Last week Spanish police seized nearly 600 kilos of cocaine from a Czech-registered sailing boat about 450 nautical miles southwest of Spain's Canary Islands and arrested its four crew members, all Czech.

Spain's proximity to north Africa, a major source of hashish, and its close ties with its former colonies in Latin America, a key cocaine producing region, have made it the main gateway into Europe for drug traffickers.

The amount of cocaine seized in Spain rose 28.

6 percent last year to 27 tonnes, according to interior ministry figures.

© 2014 AFP

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