Spanish authorities have detained a narcotics-carrying semi-submersible and its crew of three after the vessel was sighted off the coast of the northwestern region of Galicia.
A police official said the 20-metre-long “narco-sub” was loaded with approximately three tonnes of cocaine at the time of its seizure.
Two of the crew, who have both been identified as Ecuadorian nationals, were immediately arrested as they were attempting to escape. The lone Spanish crewmember was able to flee the scene and go into hiding but was finally arrested six days later.
Police said they have also taken a fourth individual into custody for providing “ground support” to the drug traffickers.
The confiscated cocaine is believed to have originated in South America and has an estimated street value of €100 million (US$110 million).
The operation to seize the drug-laden semi-submersible was carried out with assistance from law enforcement personnel from the UK, the US, Portugal, and Brazil.
Spanish officials claim it is the first instance that a vessel of this kind was detected and apprehended in European waters.
The best maritime site on the web. The sea's our scene!