UK: Briton among 6 charged after authorities seize cocaine worth £160m
London – A Briton held on board a luxury yacht while allegedly trying to smuggle £160 million worth of cocaine into the United Kingdom has been named as Andrew Cole.
The 32-year-old, from Stockton-on-Tees, in County Durham, was scheduled to appear at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court on Monday alongside Nicaraguan nationals Billy Downs, 49, Denson White-Morales, 34, Edwin Taylor-Morgan, 40, Brynie Sjogreen, 38 and Ryan Taylor, 42.
The six men have been charged with a string of drug trafficking offences after a raid on their Jamaican-flagged yacht just north of Guernsey on Thursday evening reportedly unearthed more than two tons of cocaine.
The crew had left Barbados some 18 days prior before being intercepted by specialist officers from Border Force and the National Crime Agency (NCA).
The highly-skilled officers boarded the yacht in international waters after it was covertly identified by Border Force Maritime Command’s 42-metre cutter, Searcher, and its 19-metre coastal patrol vessel, Alert.
The huge drugs haul, which was discovered wrapped in hundreds of sealed packages, would have ‘no doubt been sold on to communities in Britain’, the NCA said.
The yacht named Kahu – listed for sale for £1.3million in 2018 – had been tracked by satellite across the Atlantic Ocean.
After being seized, it was escorted back to the UK mainland where British police conducted a deep search.
The operation was carried out by the NCA in conjunction with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Border Force. (Daily Mail)