Cocaine worth $232m seized from yacht in Atlantic Ocean (With Kind permission of Marine Industry News)

Portuguese and Spanish authorities have seized 5.2 tons of cocaine from a sailboat and arrested three suspects, in Portugal’s largest drug bust in 15 years.

Luis Neves, director of Portugal’s criminal investigation police, says the haul represents the largest amount of cocaine worth ever seized from a sailboat.

According to AlArabiya, authorities discovered 183 cloth sacks full of cocaine, destined for the continental European market, inside the sailboat in the Atlantic Ocean, around 550km from Portugal’s coast.

“We are always expecting (more drug trafficking) and this is the message we want to send organisations: we are waiting for you,” says Neves. “Those who have to fall will fall because this amount of drugs is an immense fortune and a huge blow for criminal groups.”

Antonio Duarte, head of Spain’s police narcotics unit, says the crew members (two Spanish and one Peruvian) had already been on authorities’ radar and an arrest warrant had been issued for one of them.