Six men including one Brit arrested on a yacht off the coast of Plymouth with £160m worth of cocaine


Six men including one Brit are arrested on a yacht off the coast of Plymouth with £160million worth of cocaine

  • The Jamaican-flagged yacht seized on Thursday evening came from Caribbean 
  • British suspect, from County Durham, was arrested along with five Nicaraguans 
  • Search by British police found 1.5 tonnes of cocaine with a street value of £160m 

A Briton has been arrested on board a luxury yacht while allegedly trying to smuggle £160million worth of cocaine into the UK.

The unnamed suspect, from Stockton on Tees, County Durham, was cuffed some 80 miles off the coast of Plymouth on Thursday evening along with five Nicaraguans. 

The Jamaican-flagged vessel, named Kahu, had travelled from the Caribbean and was carrying 1.5 tonnes of the Class A drug.

The huge haul, which was discovered wrapped in hundreds of sealed packages, would have ‘no doubt been sold on to communities in Britain’, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said. 

The luxury yacht was escorted back to the UK mainland where British police conducted a deep search.

An unnamed British suspect (pictured), from Stockton on Tees, County Durham, was one of six men to be arrested some 80 miles off the coast of Plymouth on Thursday evening in a £120-million cocaine bust

The Jamaican-flagged vessel was carrying 1.5 tonnes of cocaine with a street value of around £160million (Pictured: Part of the cocaine haul)

The Jamaican-flagged vessel was carrying 1.5 tonnes of cocaine with a street value of around £160million (Pictured: Part of the cocaine haul)

The yacht, named Kahu (pictured), had travelled from the Caribbean and was escorted back to the UK mainland where British police conducted a deep search

The yacht, named Kahu (pictured), had travelled from the Caribbean and was escorted back to the UK mainland where British police conducted a deep search

The huge cocaine haul (pictured packaged in sports bags), would have 'no doubt been sold on to communities in Britain', the National Crime Agency (NCA) said

The huge cocaine haul (pictured packaged in sports bags), would have ‘no doubt been sold on to communities in Britain’, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said

The operation was carried out by the NCA in conjunction with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Border Force.  

The men, whose ages range from 24 to 49, were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking and remain in custody awaiting interviews.

NCA deputy director Matt Horne said: ‘There’s no doubt these drugs would have been sold on into communities across the UK in such ways as County Lines fuelling more crime and misery.

‘Organised crime groups (OCG) are motivated by money. 

‘The deprivation of these drugs will smash a hole in the OCG’s plans and ability to operate.

‘Also, the arrests of the men transporting the drugs means the crime group has lost trusted offenders who would have been key to their operation.

‘We continue to work with partners at home such as Border Force and those abroad such as the AFP to protect the public from the Class A drugs threat.’     

The operation was carried out by the NCA in conjunction with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Border Force (Pictured: Officers from all three forces at scene of boat seizure)

The operation was carried out by the NCA in conjunction with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Border Force (Pictured: Officers from all three forces at scene of boat seizure)

The men, whose ages range from 24 to 49, were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking and remain in custody awaiting interviews (Pictured: Drugs haul onboard the Kahu yacht)

The men, whose ages range from 24 to 49, were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking and remain in custody awaiting interviews (Pictured: Drugs haul onboard the Kahu yacht)

NCA deputy director Matt Horne said: 'There's no doubt these drugs would have been sold on into communities across the UK in such ways as County Lines fuelling more crime and misery' (Pictured: Drugs stashed in sports bags onboard Kahu yacht)

NCA deputy director Matt Horne said: ‘There’s no doubt these drugs would have been sold on into communities across the UK in such ways as County Lines fuelling more crime and misery’ (Pictured: Drugs stashed in sports bags onboard Kahu yacht)

The NCA said the bust will leave a 'giant hole' in the finances of the organised crime group behind the operation (Pictured: Drug bags buoyancy aids found on the yacht)

The NCA said the bust will leave a ‘giant hole’ in the finances of the organised crime group behind the operation (Pictured: Drug bags buoyancy aids found on the yacht)

He added: ‘This is a massive haul of cocaine with an estimated street value of around £160m.’ 

AFP Assistant Commissioner Lesa Gale, said: ‘Intelligence from Operation Ironside had enabled the AFP to assist international enforcement partners in disrupting an alleged sophisticated criminal network.

‘Operation Ironside has opened the door to unprecedented collaboration across law enforcement agencies around the globe.

‘This result highlights the importance of the AFP’s partnership with the NCA to combat offshore transnational organised crime that impacts both of our countries.

‘The AFP and NCA have a strong, historic relationship and both agencies recognise the significant threat to national security posed by transnational organised crime.’

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