A 25ft motorboat has been seized in North Wales by officers investigating a suspected cocaine smuggling plot
National Crime Agency officers investigating a suspected plot to smuggle around a tonne of cocaine to the UK on board a yacht have seized a second vessel believed to be linked to the attempt.
The 25ft motorboat Sea Breeze, which was located at a marina in Pwllheli, North Wales, is now being forensically examined.
Investigators believe the vessel was to be used to meet up with the yacht Makayabella in the Atlantic.
The Makayabella was intercepted by the Irish Naval Service, acting on intelligence provided by the NCA and French Customs DNRED, on Tuesday.
An estimated one tonne of cocaine was found on board and three British men from West Yorkshire detained. The vessel was taken to a naval base in Ireland where the men were arrested by An Garda Síochána.
A tonne of cocaine if cut and sold in the UK would have a street value in excess of £100million.
NCA officers have been granted more time to question a 47-year-old man from the Leeds area arrested yesterday on suspicion of conspiring to import class A drugs.
A 43-year-old man arrested at an address in Leeds on Wednesday had earlier been bailed pending further enquiries.
NCA branch commander David Norris, who is leading the investigation, said: ‘This has been a complex and fast moving investigation, involving law enforcement agencies in the UK, Ireland, Europe and South America.
‘Our enquiries are continuing, and we still wish to speak to one other individual in connection with this, a 29-year-old man from the Halton Moor area of Leeds. I would urge him to contact us.’
Pictures: The 25ft motor boat Sea Breeze seized by National Crime Agency officers investigating a suspected cocaine smuggling plot. Credit: NCA
The Makayabella yacht. Credit: Irish Naval Services Facebook page