06:48 GMT28 October 2020
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    Two Dutch citizens have been taken into custody after authorities seized one of their largest-ever loads of cocaine on July 19, aboard a yacht off the British southwest coast, Euronews said.

    "Two citizens of the Netherlands have been charged for the importation of drugs after a raid by border guards on a yacht in Cornwall," the broadcaster reported, referring to the regional head of investigations of the National Crime Agency Andy Quinn.

    Maarten Peter Pieterse, 59, and Emile Adriaan Jeroen Schoemaker, 44, appeared via video-link at Bristol Magistrates' Court in southwestern England charged with drug importation offenses. They are due to appear next in court on August 20.

    "This is a huge haul of class A drugs, one of the largest seizures of class A ever in the UK, and with a potential street value likely to be in the hundreds of millions," said Andy Quinn, NCA regional head of investigations.

    Officers found more than one and a half tons of cocaine wrapped in plastic bags in a section beneath the decking area in the rear of the vessel, named the SY Marcia, Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA) said in a statement.

    READ MORE: 'Cocaine Babe' Goes to Jail After Posting Her Drug-Smuggling Trip on Instagram

    "The criminal trade in drugs is driven by financial gain, and the loss of the profit that would have been made from this seizure it will be a major hit to the international criminal networks involved," Andy Quinn noted.

    The largest seizure of class A drugs in Britain took place in April 2015, when 3.2 tons of cocaine were found on the tugboat Hamal, sailing off the coast of Scotland.


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    yacht, cocaine, charges, arrest, United Kingdom, Netherlands
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