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Yacht carrying £120m of cocaine intercepted off Plymouth coast

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Six people, including a British man, have been arrested off the coast of Plymouth after authorities seized 1,500kg of cocaine – worth around £120m.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said the Briton – from Stockton on Tees, County Durham – and five Nicaraguans were arrested aboard a Jamaican-flagged yacht 80 miles (129km) out to sea.

The men, aged between 24 and 49, were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking and remain in custody, the NCA said in a statement.

Pic: Australian Federal Police
Image: The men were arrested 80 miles out to sea. Pic: Australian Federal Police/NCA

The arrests were the result of a joint operation between the NCA, Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Border Force.

NCA deputy director Matt Horne said: “There’s no doubt these drugs would have been sold on into communities across the UK in such ways as County Lines fuelling more crime and misery.

“Organised crime groups (OCG) are motivated by money. The deprivation of these drugs will smash a hole in the OCG’s plans and ability to operate.

“Also, the arrests of the men transporting the drugs means the crime group has lost trusted offenders who would have been key to their operation.

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Pic: Australian Federal Police
Image: It was a joint operation between British and Australian forces. Pic: Australian Federal Police/NCA

“We continue to work with partners at home such as Border Force and those abroad such as the AFP to protect the public from the Class A drugs threat.”

Australian Federal Police assistant commissioner Lesa Gale said: “This result should serve as the strongest warning to criminals yet – we will continue to be relentless in our pursuit to target and disrupt your illicit operations and to bring you to justice.”