The yacht was apprehended around 10 miles off the East Sussex coast of Newhaven

Three men have

appeared at court charged with drugs offences after Border Force officers

intercepted a yacht off the coast of Newhaven and seized 2,500 kg of cannabis.

The Border Force

vessel, HMC Searcher, was patrolling the area last Friday and

deployed a rigid hull inflatable boat (Rhib) to approach the yacht, which was

around 10 miles offshore approaching Beachy Head.

After searching

the yacht Border Force officers found cannabis worth around £7.5 million.

Three men were

arrested and the case was passed to the National Crime Agency for further


Hermann Josef

Deuss, 63, and Willi Heinz Riechling, 56, both from Dusseldorf, Germany and

Walter Untermayer, 64, from Austria have been charged with offences under the

Criminal Justice and International Co-operation Act.

They appeared at

Brighton Magistrates Court on Monday, 21 July, and

have been remanded in custody until their next court appearance on 13

August 2014.

Carole Upshall,

Border Force Regional Director said: ‘Our fleet of cutters operate 24 hours a day responding to

intelligence and patrolling the length and breadth of the UK.

‘They play a key

role in intercepting and deterring shipments of drugs and other prohibited

goods, as well as criminal gangs who attempt to traffic people into the


About the Border Force


Force has a fleet of five fast patrol ships, known as cutters. They protect the

coastline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and are the only national,

non-military, maritime vessels for enforcement, surveillance, and

stop-and-board activity that do this.

They can be put into service within 30


Border Force is a law enforcement command within the Home Office

responsible for protecting the UK border.

Created in March 2012, it is responsible for entry control and customs functions at the border, including juxtaposed controls

in France and Belgium, covering responsibilities including immigration and

security checks, prevention of people trafficking, anti-smuggling

of banned and restricted goods including drugs and weapons and protection of

border revenue.

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Pictures: A Border Force cutter docked; the cutter HMC Protector. Credit: Border Force