Portuguese authorities seized nearly a ton of cocaine aboard a sailboat sailing the Atlantic from Latin America, and arrested a 53-year-old person, the navy and judicial police said Thursday (June 1st).
The sailboat was intercepted on the high seas," on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, some 200 nautical miles (370km) from the Portuguese coast, Artur Vaz, director of the unit to fight drug trafficking of the Portuguese judicial police told AFP at a press conference. After locating and intercepting the pleasure boat, police searched the vessel and arrested "the only crew member, a 53-year-old foreigner," a Portuguese navy statement said.
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'O peration Monaco»
The Polish-flagged sailboat, approximately 16 meters long, which was crossing the Atlantic Ocean, was escorted to the Almada naval base south of Lisbon, where it arrived on Thursday morning. According to Portuguese investigators, the drug was destined for several European countries.
We are currently seeing large flows of drugs, especially cocaine and hashish, entering Europe," Vaz said. But "large movements of cocaine are mainly via containers," he added.
"Operation Monaco" is the result of international cooperation involving the Portuguese judicial police, the National Directorate of Intelligence and Customs Investigations (DNRED) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the US federal agency responsible for the war against drug trafficking.