More than 5 tons of cocaine seized in Atlantic operation

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A Portuguese Navy officer takes pictures of bales of cocaine weighting some 5,2 tons and a seized yacht displayed for the media at a Portuguese Navy base in Almada, south of Lisbon, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. Portuguese police said Monday the seizure was the largest in Europe in recent years and the biggest in Portugal for 15 years. Police localized and intercepted the 24-meter (79-foot) yacht at sea. The operation involved police from Portugal, Spain, the Drug Enforcement Agency in the United States and the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — An international police operation has seized 5.2 metric tons (5.73 short tons) of cocaine with a street value estimated at around 200 million euros ($232 million) on a yacht in the Atlantic Ocean, authorities said Monday.

Portuguese police said the shipment was one of the largest hauls in Europe in recent years and the biggest in Portugal for 15 years.

Police backed by Portuguese navy and air force units located and intercepted a 24-meter (79-foot) yacht at sea, a statement said. They boarded it and found 183 bales of cocaine on board.

Police suspect the cocaine belonged to an international drug-trafficking gang that was bringing cocaine into Europe through the Iberian Peninsula.

Three men were arrested and taken to Portugal.

The operation involved police from Portugal, Spain, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency.

Authorities said they would release further details of the operation later Monday.

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