Police seize nearly £60m worth of cocaine hidden on boat near Canary Islands

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Almost three tonnes of cocaine was discovered on the vessel (REUTERS)
Almost three tonnes of cocaine was discovered on the vessel (REUTERS)

Police have seized nearly £60million worth of cocaine hidden on a boat off the coast of the Canary Islands.

The AKT 1 vessel was stopped on April 13 by the Spanish coast guard nearly 300 miles south of the island chain, police said.

Spanish air patrol discovered the ship as it attempted to hide among a fishing fleet before it was then boarded.

After police boarded the ship, they discovered 2.9 tonnes of cocaine with an estimated €72million (£59.5million) of the drug which was packed in one of the fuel tanks.

A spokesman for the Spanish Civil Guard said: “When we boarded, officers observed the fishing boat was transporting a significant number of bundles usually used for cocaine trafficking, so the five crew members of the boat - four of Turkish nationality and a Georgian citizen - were immediately arrested.”

The boat was returned to Gran Caria on Saturday and the five detainees were remanded in custody in Las Palmas.

The police said the believed the vessel had come from a location in South America.

Police said that they are focusing on cracking down on what they call the "African route" for South American traffickers who transfer loads of drugs to fishing vessels in the middle of the Atlantic before smuggling them into Europe.

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