Jersey

Yacht drug raid finds £40m of cocaine for UK market

French customs vessels with seized yacht SY Hygeia of Halsa Image copyright PA
Image caption Hank Cole, from the NCA, said the organised crime network involved continued to be investigated

Up to £40m of cocaine was seized from a yacht in the Caribbean, which was taking the drug to the UK for sale.

The SY Hygeia of Halsa, registered in the UK, was boarded by French customs off the island of Martinique on Monday as it began a transatlantic crossing.

Two men from Jersey, aged 42 and 57, were arrested after the seizure of about 550lb (250kg) of the class A drug.

The pair face prosecution from the French authorities.

The yacht was boarded after an investigation involving the British and French police and officials from the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Image copyright PA
Image caption The yacht was seized off the island of Martinique as it began a transatlantic crossing
Image copyright PA
Image caption The 550lb (250kg) of cocaine has an estimated street value of between £30m and £40m

Hank Cole, the NCA's head of international operations, said: "We have no doubt that without this intervention the drugs would have ended up on the streets of the UK where, after being cut, they would have had a likely potential value of £30-40 million.

"Our investigation into the organised crime network involved in this attempt continues."

Det Supt Neil Thompson, from the Metropolitan Police said: "It is clear that the drugs recovered would have been distributed throughout the streets of London and beyond, generating further criminality and fuelling gang activity.

"If you deal in drugs in any scale we will find you, we will arrest you, and you will face the consequences of your actions."

The seizure follows a similar haul found by the Irish Naval Service in September based on information supplied by the NCA.

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