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Cocaine smugglers arrested off Canary coast 

PAGE 14 Cocaine smugglers  arrested off Canary coast

A boat intercepted off the Canary Islands was found to be carrying about 1,400 kilos of cocaine.

The surveillance operation was carried out by the American Drug Enforcement Agency and the Spanish Navy.

The boat, named Breath, had been sailing in Atlantic waters since the beginning of October and was intercepted by the GEO some 980 nautical miles from the Canary Islands. The ten crew members of the boat were arrested as alleged perpetrators of an offence of drug trafficking.

Police said the operation was part of the constant struggle of the National Police against international organisations engaged in the transport of drugs, by sea, from the South American coasts to Europe.

The boat, flying a flag of the Republic of Moldova, had left Turkey and was heading to South America.

On the deck, drug squad officers found numerous packages of cocaine wrapped in raffia cloth, weighing approximately 30 kilos each. The bales were tied together, ready to be thrown into the sea in case of an emergency.

The ten crew members of the vessel were of Turkish, Ukrainian, Georgian and Bulgarian nationalities. Police also seized various satellite terminals, laptops, navigation devices and various documentation that could be related to the investigation.