Eight arrested after £20m cocaine seizure

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The Independent Online

Four Britons are among eight people arrested after £20m of cocaine was seized on a luxury yacht.

Four Britons are among eight people arrested after £20m of cocaine was seized on a luxury yacht.

The three women and a man were held after 50 police and customs officers raided the yacht today after months of investigation.

Four other suspects, from France, America and Venezuala, were also arrested.

Police said 300 kilos of the Class A drug was being unloaded from the 37ft yacht on to a ragid inflatable vessel off the coast of the Isle of Wight.

It is understood the British suspects live in the south of England.

The drugs were aboard an American-registered yacht called the Blue Hen.

Jim Fitzpatrick, assistant chief investigations officer for Customs, said: "This is the culmination of several months of close liaison between Customs and the National Crime Squad.

"We believe that this joint operation has resulted in a major seizure of illegal drugs and will have a serious impact on the supply of cocaine throughout the UK."

Neil Giles, head of operations for the eastern area of the National Crime Squad, said: "This is a major blow to the organised importation of illegal drugs."

The arrests took place at about 5am.

It was unclear where the boat started its voyage.

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