The Portuguese Judicial Police, through its Southern Directorate in Portimão, and with the support of the Portuguese Navy and the Portuguese Air Force, carried out a maritime operation, named “Operação Cristal”, that resulted in the seizure of approximately 1.000kg of cocaine in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of the Azores, Portugal.
The target of the operation was a 14-meter-long sailboat that was crossing the Atlantic after departing from South America.
In light of the poor safety conditions of the vessel, the two crew members, as well as the drugs found onboard, were transported to the Portuguese Navy ship, which escorted them ashore. The intercepted vessel eventually sank on its way to Ponta Delgada, Azores.
Ultimately, as a result of this operation Portuguese authorities were able to seize a pleasure craft, a motor yacht, three vehicles, various sophisticated communications equipment, a significant amount of cash, several cryptocurrency wallets, jewellery and high-value watches. The detainees were also associated with crimes of drug trafficking and money laundering.
This operation is a result of joint efforts by the Portuguese Judicial Police and the Spanish National Police, and was fully supported by MAOC-N.