A joint operation involving the Portuguese Judicial Police, Navy and Air Force has successfully identified and intercepted a 24-metre sailing vessel in the Atlantic, loaded with 5,200kg of cocaine divided over 183 bales.
Indications are that the drugs would have arrived in Europe via the Iberian Peninsula and would subsequently been distributed around the continent. The 3 crew, who are suspected to be part of a far reaching transnational criminal organisation dedicated to trafficking large quantities of cocaine between Latin America and Europe, were all arrested.
According to the Portuguese Judicial Police, this is the biggest cocaine seizure made in Portugal in the last 15 years and one of the biggest in Europe so far this year.
This large-scale joint operation is the result of close international cooperation between MAOC-N, the Portuguese authorities, the Spanish Drugs and Organised Crime Unit (UDYCO), the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and the US Drugs Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Press Release: https://www.policiajudiciaria.pt/operacao-mare-branca/