The Judicial Police, through the National Unit to Combat Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, under an operation that took place in mid-October, arrested two Ukranian nationals and seized a sail boat, transporting about 600 kgs of cocaine. It is estimated that the drugs are worth about €19 million

Operation, which took place in international waters off Sagres, with the collaboration of the Portuguese Navy and Air Force.

It is understood that information about the shipment was passed to the Portuguese authorities by the USA. The vessel named “Cocuyo” was reportedly flying the Union Jack flag and was boarded by officers from the PJ and Navy.

The vessel was escorted to Portimao where it was seized together with the drugs. The detainees, aged 39 and 45 years, have appeared in court with an application to be remanded in custody

This operation is part of an ongoing strategy for identifying, combating and dismantling of organized criminal networks that have been using this kind of modus operandi for smuggling cocaine to Europe. Coordination rests with the “Centre for Maritime Analysis and Operations – Narcotics (MAOC-N) with the cooperation of the Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Lisbon.