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More than 5 tons of cocaine seized in Atlantic operation

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 18, 2021

Associated Press

LISBON, Portugal — An international police operation has seized 5.73 short tons of cocaine with a street value estimated at around $232 million on a yacht in the Atlantic Ocean, authorities said Monday.

Portuguese police said the shipment was one of the largest hauls in Europe in recent years and the biggest in Portugal for 15 years.

Police backed by Portuguese navy and air force units located and intercepted a 79-foot yacht at sea, a statement said. They boarded it and found 183 bales of cocaine on board.

Police suspect the cocaine belonged to an international drug-trafficking gang that was bringing cocaine into Europe through the Iberian Peninsula.

Three men were arrested and taken to Portugal.

The operation involved police from Portugal, Spain, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency.

Authorities said they would release further details of the operation later Monday.

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