Huge Cannabis haul found on boat - BBC

By grecian · Jun 8, 2005 ·
  1. grecian
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4616645.stm




    Scottish police say they have smashed a major smuggling ring after a fishing boat carrying an estimated £24m worth of cannabis was stopped off Spain.

    The four crew members - including two Scots, aged 49 and 43 - were arrested, along with a further three people in Glasgow and Perth.

    Authorities believe the drugs, which weighted eight tonnes, were destined for Scotland.

    The swoop was co-ordinated by the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency.

    Its head of operations, Detective Superintendent Campbell Corrigan, said the seizure was a "major body blow" to an organised crime group based in Scotland.

    Men on the boat
    Spanish police made a number of arrests

    "This operation strikes at the very heart of its drug-trafficking activity," he said.

    "It clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of the SDEA's operational strategy, designed to attack those engaged in drug smuggling."

    He said he believed the drugs were bound for Scotland.

    An SDEA spokesman added: "This seizure results from an ongoing transnational SDEA-led operation targeting a major international drug smuggling operation, which has now been destroyed.

    "This outcome could not have been achieved without the full cooperation of the Spanish authorities and the support of the agency's international and national law enforcement partners."

    Spain's Interior Ministry said the boat was stopped on Sunday as part of Operation Bouzas, which began three months ago.

    Drugs
    Police said they found drugs worth an estimated £24m

    A request for co-operation was received from the British authorities via Europol to conduct a joint Spanish-British operation.

    The ministry said it could not rule out more arrests in Scotland and Spain.

    The British-registered Squilla was taken to Cadiz in southern Spain after being intercepted in the Atlantic Ocean, off western Spain.

    Four of the boat's crew - two Scots, a Spaniard and an Estonian - were arrested.

    A number of addresses across Scotland were also searched, with two men being arrested in Glasgow and a third in Perth.

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