NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Nine held after boat boarded in North Sea drugs raid


A boat is being searched at Aberdeen harbour after it was boarded in the North Sea on suspicion of carrying drugs.

Nine people were detained after the Hamal was intercepted by the Royal Navy frigate HMS Somerset and the Border Force cutter Valiant.

It happened about 100 miles east of the city on Thursday.

The Tanzanian-registered boat was escorted back to Aberdeen, to allow a full search to be carried out.

A spokesman for the National Crime Agency (NCA) said: "A vessel was boarded by a team from the Royal Navy frigate HMS Somerset and Border Force cutter Valiant about 100 miles east of the Aberdeenshire coast.

"The vessel was accompanied into Aberdeen where a full search is now being carried out by specialist Border Force officers with operational support from Police Scotland.

"Nine crew were detained for questioning by investigators from the NCA's Border Policing Command."

The Border Force acted on information supplied by NCA, which recently replaced the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

The Border Force is a law enforcement agency responsible for frontline border control operations in the UK.

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