The French Navy seized a Brazilian vessel carrying over 4.6 tonnes of cocaine as a result of intelligence activities underway between Europol, MAOC-N and the authorities in Brazil, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. The illegal shipment is believed to be worth in excess of € 150 million.
Heading towards Europe, the 21 meter-long vessel was intercepted in international waters off the coast of Sierra Leone on 30th of November.
Europol announced that “an investigation is underway to identify the criminal groups involved on either side of the Atlantic Ocean”.
The participating authorities involved were the Federal Police of Brazil, National Police and National Navy of France, the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom, the US Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States, the Europol, and the Maritime Analysis and Operation Centre – Narcotics.
As Europol mentions, “underpinning the drug trafficking activities is a transport infrastructure that connects Latin American source countries with areas of consumption”.
Europol currently hosts at its headquarters over 250 liaison officers from over 50 countries and organisations, which sees law enforcement from countries across the world working side by side to fight the most dangerous criminal networks.
“Coupled with Europol’s work into the encrypted means of communication used by criminals, this coordinated intelligence-led approach is delivering tangible results in the fight against maritime drugs trafficking”, Europol says.