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Portugal seizes cocaine worth €200m from yacht in Atlantic Ocean

Bales of cocaine seized by Portugal weighed some 5.2 tons.
Bales of cocaine seized by Portugal weighed some 5.2 tons. Copyright AP Photo/Armando Franca
Copyright AP Photo/Armando Franca
By Euronews with AP, AFP
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The haul is reported to be one of the largest hauls in Europe in recent years and the biggest in Portugal for 15 years.

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Portugal says it has seized 5.2 metric tons of cocaine from a Spanish-flagged sailing boat in the Atlantic Ocean.

Police recovered 183 bales of cocaine from the yacht, with a street value estimated at around €200 million.

Portuguese authorities said the shipment was one of the largest hauls in Europe in recent years and the biggest in Portugal for 15 years.

The haul was displayed at the Portuguese navy's military base on the southern outskirts of Lisbon on Monday.

Portuguese police, backed by the country's navy and air force, located and intercepted the 24-metre yacht at sea.

Three men — two Spanish citizens and a Peruvian national — were arrested and taken to Portugal.

Authorities suspect the cocaine belonged to an international drug-trafficking gang that was bringing cocaine into Europe through the Iberian Peninsula.

"This is a major blow to those who want to flood Europe with cocaine," Portuguese judicial police director Luis Neves said at a press conference.

The international police operation also involved Spain, the US Drug Enforcement Administration, and the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency.

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