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Cocaine worth 100 million euros seized near Canaries 

PAGE 3 COCAINE

Police in Spain believe they have caused a major dent in drug trafficking after seizing cocaine worth 100 million euros in a dramatic high sea raid near the Canaries.

They say the 3,800 kilos of cocaine was due to be dumped “somewhere” in Spain for distribution to the Spanish and European markets.

The drugs were hidden in a tugboat intercepted in the Atlantic about 540 miles from the Canary Islands.

Officers had to wear special protective suits to get to the cocaine which was hidden in waterproof packets in the engine compartment.

Seven people were arrested, six of them Turkish and one an Azerbaijani national.

Police say they put up no resistance when their boat was intercepted during very rough sea conditions.

“The market price of the 3,800 kilos of cocaine seized in the operation would have exceeded 100 million euros,” said a spokesman.

The seizure is being described as the biggest made in 2017 and also the most important because it cracks the route being made across the Atlantic. Usually, the drugs are split into much smaller batches on several boats.

“More and more cocaine is produced in South America. It is foreseeable that there is more cocaine coming to Spain and we are forced to increase this type of operations,” said police drugs chief Ricardo Toro.

The seizure followed a tip-off that a criminal organisation was planning a huge cocaine shipment from Colombia to Spain, using a tugboat.

The boat left in mid-September and police were able to work out the date it was due to sail into Spanish waters.