Cornwall

Newlyn Harbour: Pair in court over 'huge haul' of drugs

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Media captionTwo tonnes of cocaine were seized in the English Channel

Two men have appeared in court after two tonnes of cocaine was seized from a yacht in the English Channel.

Dutch nationals Maarten Peter Pieterse, 59, and Emile Adriaan Jeroen Schoemaker, 44, appeared before Bristol Magistrates' Court via video link.

The National Crime Agency made what it called a "significant seizure of cocaine" on Thursday.

The men have been remanded in custody and will appear at Bristol Crown Court on 20 August.

The pair are accused of being "knowingly concerned in the carrying or concealing of controlled drug of Class A, namely cocaine, on the SY Marcia knowing or having reasonable grounds to suspect that the drug was intended to be imported or had been exported contrary to Section 3(1) of the Misuse of Drugs Act".

Mr Pieterse and Mr Schoemaker spoke only to confirm their names, dates of birth, Dutch nationalities and to say that they did not have UK addresses.

NCA regional head of investigations, Andy Quinn, said: "This is a huge haul of class A drugs, one of the largest seizures of class A ever in the UK, and with a potential street value likely to be in the hundreds of millions."

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