Four charged over £100m cocaine haul heading to Wales

The Irish naval vessel - the LÉ Niamh, sails alongside the detained yacht Makayabella Image copyright Irish Defence Forces
Image caption The Irish navy intercepted the yacht Makayabella after it was tracked from Venezuela

Four British men have been charged with drugs offences after the seizure of more than a tonne of cocaine in the Irish Sea.

The drugs haul has an estimated street value of more than £100m, according to the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA).

The operation saw a yacht seized by the Irish navy off the coast of Cork in the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday.

Image caption The motorboat Sea Breeze seized in Pwllheli Marina is being examined at another location

On Friday, National Crime Agency (NCA) officers seized the motorboat Sea Breeze at Pwllheli in Gwynedd.

Three men arrested on the yacht Makayabella have been charged with drug trafficking in Cork

A 70-year-old, from Silsden, West Yorkshire, a 28-year-old from Bradford, and a 34-year-old from north east Lincolnshire all appeared at a special court sitting on Friday evening.

A 47-year-old man arrested by the NCA in West Yorkshire has also been charged in connection with the drugs find and remanded in custody after appearing at Leeds Magistrates Court on Saturday.

A 43-year-old man who was arrested on Wednesday has since been released on bail, pending further inquiries.

The cocaine seizure is believed to be one of the largest drug finds at sea in Europe this year.

It followed a covert surveillance operation to track the captured yacht from Venezuela, until it was intercepted about 300 miles from the Irish coast.

Intelligence sources said it was understood the drugs were heading for the north Wales coast.

Image copyright PA
Image caption More than a tonne of cocaine was recovered - said to have street value of over £100m

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