Authorities uncovered 1.2 tonnes of cocaine in the English port of Southampton in the largest ever seizure of a class A drug in the UK.
Authorities had been tracking the vessel since May after suspicions were raised while the boat was in the Caribbean. The drugs themselves are believed to have originated in South America, and were packaged and loaded onto the vessel in Venezuela.
According to one Dutch official “about 40% of all cocaine brought into Europe is trafficked using smuggling routes from the Caribbean.”
The cocaine was discovered after six days of combing the 65 foot vessel. The drug bad been stashed in a custom made compartment underneath the bathing platform.
Six Dutch nationals, including the owner of the boat and his three sons, were arrested in connection with the crime.
The haul is estimated to be worth $492 million on the streets. The confiscated drugs were 90% pure, while the average purity of cocaine seized in the country is only 63%.