Portuguese police seized more than five tonnes of cocaine worth $ 232 million from a 79-foot yacht in the Atlantic Ocean in cooperation with Spanish, UK and US authorities.
The operation, dubbed the “White Tide”, prevented 183 balls of cocaine from entering Europe via the Iberian Peninsula, making it the largest seizure by Portuguese authorities in more than 15 years.
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” We are still waiting [more drug trafficking] and this is the message we want to send to the organizations: we are waiting for you, ”Portuguese judicial police chief Luis Neves told a press conference on Monday, according to Reuters.
“Those who have to fall will fall because this amount of drugs is a huge fortune and a blow to criminal groups. “
The Portuguese judicial police said that three men were arrested “are strongly suspected of being part of a powerful transnational criminal organization dedicated to the trafficking of large quantities of cocaine”.
Two of the suspects are Spanish and one is Peruvian, according to Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã.
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The United States Drug Enforcement Agency and the United Kingdom National Crime Agency participated in the operation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.