More than a tonne of cocaine with an estimated street value of £56m was seized from a yacht off the Kent coast on Monday (31 August). Border Force officers intercepted the vessel using their cutter, Vigilant, and questioned two Dutch nationals onboard before escorting the vessel into Dover marina.
The men were charged with drug trafficking offences after Border Force officials found 1,200 kilos of the class-A drug on the vessel, called Golem. The men, who have been named as Hendrik Brugmans And Raymond Aalders, were remanded in custody and are due to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on 25 September.
Border Force regional director Sue Young said: "Excellent work by the crew of the Vigilant and officers from our specialist deep rummage team has prevented a huge amount of cocaine from reaching the streets. Our fleet of cutters plays a key role in protecting the UK by intercepting and deterring shipments of drugs and other prohibited goods, as well as vessels operated by criminal gangs who attempt to traffic people into the country."
Elaine Game, from the National Crime Agency's Dover border investigation team, said: "This was an exceptional seizure. At this stage the end destination for the boat is unclear, however given the amount recovered it seems likely that at least part of the shipment would have ended up back in Britain. Our investigation is continuing and we are working closely with European partners. We're committed to doing all we can to disrupt and target the organised crime networks involved in drug trafficking."