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