Portuguese and Spanish authorities confirmed on Friday, February 15, their recent seizure of a cargo ship carrying 3.3 tonnes of cocaine off Portugal’s Atlantic coast.
The authorities state they boarded the vessel some 150 nautical miles off Portugal on January 30 as it was traveling from South America to Europe.
The cocaine, which was found in around 80 bales stored on the ship’s top deck, is thought to be worth around US$148 million at European street prices.
The crew was comprised of eight Ukrainian nationals, one Dutch national, one French national, and one Georgian national. All have been arrested and are presently detained in Portugal.
Authorities say the smugglers had hoped to clandestinely transfer the drugs to smaller boats which would then drop off the illicit cargo at various points in Europe.