Seven Tug Crew Arrested After US$260 Million Cocaine Bust In Atlantic Ocean

A marine support vessel has been intercepted in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean while heading to Europe from South America and four tons of cocaine was found on board. Seven Turkish and Azerbaijani crewmen have been arrested in connection with the seizure, which was worth US$260 million.Spanish authorities, acting on intelligence from Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA), intercepted a marine support vessel, Thoran, on October 1, in international waters midway between the Azores and Madeira, and discovered four tons of cocaine, worth US$260 million.The ship was towed to the Spanish port of Cadiz where it arrived on Friday, October 6, and when it was unloaded the total amount of contraband weights 3,700 kilograms.Seven crewmen, who were from Turkey and Azerbaijan, were arrested and are in custody in Spain awaiting trial.The drugs, in 165 waterproof packages, had been hidden in a sophisticated compartment under the floor of the ship's kitchen, or galley.The NCA said they could not be sure where the boat was heading, but it was somewhere in Europe and the drugs on board would have been worth £200 million (US$260mln) on the street.The Thoran, which was flying the flag of the Comoro Islands — a common maritime flag of convenience — had been spotted making an unusual maneuver off the coast of South America.On September 15, it was spotted off the coast of Suriname, a former Dutch colony, and it is thought that was where the drugs was brought on board.