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Spain seizes nearly 1 ton of cocaine

17 November 2014, 20:56

Madrid - Spanish authorities seized nearly one ton of cocaine from a yacht off the Canary Islands in the Atlantic and arrested its three crew, the interior ministry said on Monday.

A Spanish customs ship intercepted the yacht, the "Liberty Belle" about 370km ssouth of the Spanish holiday island of Gran Canaria.

Customs agents and police seized nearly 950kg of cocaine inside the boat, which will be brought into the port of Las Palmas on Tuesday.

"The crew, two Ukrainians and a Serb, once again confirmed the involvement of criminal groups in the transportation of cocaine from South America to Europe," the statement said.

Spanish police last week seized nearly 600kg of cocaine from a Czech-registered sailing boat off Spain's Canary Islands and arrested its four crew, all Czech.

Spain's proximity to north Africa, a major source of hashish, and its close ties with its former colonies in Latin America, a key cocaine producing region, have made it the main gateway into Europe for drug traffickers.

The amount of cocaine seized in Spain rose 28.6% last year to 27 tons, according to interior ministry figures.



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