Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Boat with 75 million euros worth of cocaine seized in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean

The armed operation to stop the MV Matthew, involving the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Spanish Navy and Portuguese police, took place a few days ago. Previously, the fishing Boat named “Mathieu” was carrying cocaine from South America.

As a consequence of the operation, two Albanian and four Guyanese nationals have been detained and transferred to the boat Fulmar, which was bound for Arrecife (Lanzarote).

The DEA passed on information about an attempt to transfer large quantities of cocaine from one boat to another on the high seas, according to a statement from the Spanish National Police. Portuguese authorities had the same information, so the decision was made to intercept the fishing Boat before it could unload its cargo.

The patrol ship Fulmar intercepted the drug traffickers in the Atlantic 600 miles off Cape Verde and requested permission from the Guyana authorities to seize the Boat and take it to the nearest Spanish port.

“The investigation is the result of the existing international channels for the fight against drug trafficking, through which information was received from the American agency, which warned of the existence of an international criminal organization that would attempt to carry out the transfer of a large amount of cocaine from one ship to another on the high seas,” it was said in the report.

The case was one of the latest in a series of major cocaine seizures in Europe, targeting the lucrative €13 billion European cocaine market.

On 10 August, for example, an eight-tonne shipment of cocaine worth €600 million was seized in Rotterdam, marking two consecutive years of record seizures of the drug in the EU.

Seven people have so far been arrested in connection with Operation MV Matthew and two men are due to appear at Wexford County Court today in connection with the seizure.

The potential street value of the 2.25 tonnes of drugs seized is estimated at €500 million, depending on the purity of the drugs. It is the largest drug seizure in the state’s history.

The Kinahan cartel is believed to have been behind the brokering of the shipments, which involved a cartel of Irish drug gangs pooling their resources. They have previously been linked to a huge 20-tonne shipment hidden aboard the supercargo ship MSC Gayane, seized in the US in 2019.

The $1.5 billion cargo was the largest drug seizure in US customs history and is believed to have been organized by the Kinahans’ supercartel partners.


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