£375m cocaine seized on UK-bound ship

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The Independent Online

A ship carrying cocaine worth up to £375 million destined for the British market was seized off the Spanish coast today.

Police boarded the 150ft former coastguard vessel, named Destiny Empress, after it crossed the Atlantic from the West Indies.

It was taken to a port and initial searches revealed it was carrying at least 1.5 tonnes of cocaine in the hold.

Scotland Yard, which was involved in the operation, said the majority of the drugs were heading for London.

Detectives from the force's central task force, which focusses on major criminal gangs, were responsible for the inquiry.

They said the gang were experienced criminals linked to an international network stretching between London, Spain, the Caribbean and Colombia.

The operation also involved the Spanish National Police, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) and the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Beyer said the operation demonstrated the commitment of police to tackle drug trafficking at all levels.