Police seize three tonnes of cocaine from boat
7 September 2005

PARIS - A joint French-Spanish police task force has dealt a strong blow to a
cocaine-trafficking network after intercepting a sailboat off the coast of Cape
Verde carrying three tonnes of the drug.

The French National Police said the boat, which was seized on Sunday and is
being towed to the Canary Islands, was headed from Cuba to Morocco.

Officials told EFE that the police operation, which is continuing, was the
biggest launched to date by the joint French-Spanish task force.

It comes after United Nations figures published on Tuesday showed Spain had the
highest number of cocaine users in the world.

The reason is Spain is the major route for the drug to come to Europe from South

The boat, which was registered in Norway and had a two-man French crew, sailed
from Cuba, stopped in Colombia to take on the cocaine and crossed the Atlantic
heading for the coast of Morocco.

The cocaine was divided up into 60 packages, according to officials.

The cocaine was to be taken by road to northern Morocco, smuggled into Spain and
distributed to the rest of Europe, officials said.

On Sunday, a special Spanish police unit operating from a Spanish navy vessel
boarded the sailboat in international waters near Cape Verde and off the coast
of Senegal.

In addition to the two men aboard the sailboat, police in France and Spain have
arrested seven other suspected members of the ring, most of them from the Paris
area, although at least one was Spanish.

The joint task force was created in June to target drug trafficking, officials