Police arrest five in drug ring off Canaries

Aug 6, 2013 by Guest Writer

Spanish authorities broke up a drug ring in mid-July when they seized 1,100 pounds (500 kilos) of cocaine from a 35-foot sailing yacht off the Canary Islands, according to a report by Agence France Presse.

Five people were arrested: two Spaniards, an Irish national, an American and an Australian woman.

“The ring shipped large amounts of drugs from South America to Cape Verde, where it was stored,” according to a statement by the interior ministry. “Later, after taking all kinds of security measures, the drugs were sent in smaller amounts to the Canary Islands, its final destination.”

A Spanish customs ship intercepted the yacht, which the Irish Mirror believed to be named the Maid of Orleans, on July 17 in international waters in the Atlantic Ocean near the Canaries. Police also seized several weapons as well as jewelry and gold bars worth about $180,000 (135,000 euros), and 40,000 euros in cash in five searches.

The authorities also confiscated two high end vehicles, two sailboats and a schooner as well as satellite telecommunications equipment that was used by the ring, AFP reported.