22 July 2015
Cocaine with a likely potential value of around £480,000 has been seized from a yacht moored at Brighton Marina.
Officers from Border Force first attended the marina on Sunday 19 July. They began a search of the Tacabanda II, which had sailed to the UK from the Caribbean.
On Monday 20 July they recovered around three kilos of cocaine. Investigators from the National Crime Agency’s Border Policing Command were called in and the two crewmen, a St Lucian national aged 62 and a 29-year-old man from Grenada, were arrested on suspicion of the importation of controlled drugs.
Specialist Border Force search teams continued their search of the vessel but no further drugs were recovered.
The men were interviewed by NCA investigators and bailed pending further enquiries until a date in November.
Steve McIntyre, senior investigator for the National Crime Agency, said:
“Forensic analysis of the drugs seized has yet to be carried out, but the likelihood is it is cocaine of a very high purity.
“Our investigations are continuing, and we’d appeal to anyone who saw any kind of suspicious activity at the marina to come forward and let us know.
“Working with our Border Force colleagues we are determined to disrupt the organised crime networks involved in smuggling class A drugs into the UK.”
Sue Young, Director of Border Force South, said:
“Border Force officers play a key role in protecting the UK from illegal drugs and this seizure has prevented a significant quantity from reaching the streets.
“Working with law enforcement colleagues like the NCA we are determined to do all we can to prevent drug trafficking and put those responsible behind bars.”
Anyone with information about suspicious or unusual activity in ports or harbours can report it to their local police by dialling 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 quoting “KRAKEN”.
Project KRAKEN is a National Crime Agency, Police, and Border Force initiative to increase vigilance along the UK’s coastline and maritime environment to prevent it being exploited by criminals.
Update: 30 July 2015
A third man has been arrested by NCA officers investigating the seizure of around three kilos of cocaine on the Tacabanda II yacht.
A 33-year-old man from London was detained as he arrived on a flight into Gatwick Airport in the early hours of this morning. He was questioned on suspicion of conspiring to import cocaine and bailed pending further enquiries until a date in November.
The seizure was a result of an intelligence-led operation involving the NCA, Border Force, the UK's National Maritime Information Centre (NMIC), the French Customs investigation service DNRED and the Trinidadian Transnational Organised Crime Unit.