UK’s Royal Navy seizes 2 tons of cocaine from North Sea boat
The British Royal Navy and coastguard have reportedly seized over two tons of cocaine from a Tanzanian-registered tugboat that was searched in the North Sea off the east coast of Scotland.
French customs announced in a Sunday statement that the Thursday interception of the MV Hamal, an ocean-going vessel, by British naval forces came as the result of “specific information” it shared with the Royal Navy, which prompted the search of the boat 100 miles east of the Aberdeenshire coast, AFP reported.
“This is a potentially significant seizure of illegal drugs, only made possible by the co-operation between ourselves, Border Force, the Royal Navy and our international partners,” said John McGowan of UK’s National Crime Agency’s (NCA) Border Policing Command.
He added, “The exact amount of cocaine on board [the tugboat] is yet to be determined and the search is likely to continue for some time.”
The official further noted that the “NCA investigation is being supported by Police Scotland.”
The crew of the Hamal, nine men aged between 26 and 63, were taken into custody for interrogation by investigative authorities from the NCA Border Policing Command, who charged them with drug trafficking offences.
They remain under detention and are scheduled to appear at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Monday.
Britain’s Border Force is a law enforcement agency responsible for frontline border control operations in the UK.