On the night of 27th/28th May 2015, the Judicial Police, through the Department of Criminal Investigation of Ponta Delgada, in conjunction with the National Unit for Combating Drug Trafficking, as part of an operation that took place during the last days, detained five foreign men and seized a sail boat and approximately 1,150 kgs of cocaine transported reportedly from the Caribbean. The sail boat was sailing under a US flag.
This is the largest seizure of cocaine that has occurred in the Azores. The operation, with the assistance of Maritime police took place on the island of Faial, and was part of a broader framework to identify, combat and dismantle organized criminal networks that have been using this this method to traffic cocaine into Europe.
It has been reported that the drugs have a street value of Euro 300 million, making it one of the largest seizures worldwide this year.
It is understood from media reports that the French and British police were involved in the investigation leading to the operation.
The detainees, aged between 29 and 54 years old, (four Serbs and one German) have appeared before a competent judicial authority for the first judicial interrogation and have been placed in remand.