Six Dutch nationals have been arrested in connection with the seizure in Britain of a Dutch-registered yacht with 1.2 metric tons of cocaine on board, the public prosecution department said on Wednesday.
A 60-year-old man from Meppel and his three sons, aged 34, 32 and 27, plus two other men aged 44 from Amsterdam, were picked up on Tuesday after an investigation lasting several months. The 60-year-old is the registered owner of the boat.
The motor yacht Louise had been loaded onto a ship transporter bound for Holland while in the Caribbean, where it was already under surveillance. The transporter made a scheduled stop in Southampton where the yacht was searched by British and Dutch officials.
After six days, they eventually found the drugs hidden beneath the bathing platform at the back of the boat. The yacht’s owner had tried to pick the boat up in Southampton but were delayed by British officials who said it was no longer seaworthy while the investigation continued.
The drugs, with a street value of €45m, were probably hidden on the yacht in Venezuala, the department said. According to British media reports, the drug was 90% pure and represents the largest find of a Class A drug ever made in the UK.
Police also recovered a million euros in cash, two Harley Davidson motorbikes, two firearms, a silencer and a quantity of ecstasy.
For photos and a video of the haul, click here