Police seized cocaine worth more than £15million after intercepting a luxury UK-registered yacht off the coast of Ibiza.
Five people have been arrested so far following the discovery of the huge 300kg haul of drugs – hailed as the biggest ever in the holiday islands. All of the suspects were crew members on board the million pound yacht, four of them of Dutch nationality and one German. Police say “Operation Haircut” is still open and there will be further arrests. Customs officers intercepted the yacht in the early hours of Sunday morning, about 15 miles from Ibiza. Police arrested the ship’s five crew members; four Dutch and one German.
The five suspects, the boat and the cocaine have been placed in the hands of a court in Palma. Raids are also taking place in the Netherlands to crack an international drug smuggling gang. Investigations have been ongoing since mid-2016 when a yacht linked to a cocaine network was located in Mallorca. The yacht, flying a Gibraltar flag, was tracked at the weekend as it once again left Palma heading towards the Spanish mainland. Surveillance from the air recorded the moment the crew picked up a number of packages which had just been thrown into the sea from a cargo ship. Spanish authorities intercepted the ship ‘HCH-X’ 15 miles off Ibiza island.
Police say this is known as the “drop off” method whereby smaller ships collect the drugs and take them back to the coast. Checks revealed the luxury yacht was registered in the UK. Half of the seized cocaine, described as of high purity, was found in bales secured by ropes whilst the other 150 kilos was found in a secret compartment under the floor of the captain’s cabin.