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Friday, July 06, 2007

Spanish police hold ship in €200m cocaine probe

By Ralph RiegelFriday July 06 2007

GARDAI believe they may have located the 'mother ship' involved in attempting to smuggle €200m worth of cocaine into Ireland.

In a dramatic development last night, Spanish police detained an ocean-going catamaran in the northern port of La Coruna. The boat was detained at sea and escorted to the port where it is now under armed guard.

Two men have also been detained as part of the investigation.
It is believed the catamaran was flying a US flag and gardai have asked Spanish police to examine charts and other maritime documents found on the boat.
It is understood the ship was detained at the request of gardai, who are attempting to source who transferred the 1.5 tonnes of high-grade cocaine to a small dinghy off west Cork earlier this week.

Two men arrested in connection with the cocaine seizure last night had their period of detention extended by a District Court judge for a further 72 hours.
Joe Daly, with an address in Kent, and Perry Wharrie, aka Steven Brown with an address in Essex, appeared before a special sitting of Clonakilty District Court.

Judge James McNulty heard evidence from senior gardai that the extended detention of both men was crucial to their ongoing investigation into the seizure of cocaine floating in 61 bales in waters off the west Cork coast last Monday.

Sgt Jerry Prenderville said that both men are believed to be the two individuals who were spotted near Dunlough Bay on Monday when a dramatic sea rescue led to the cocaine seizure.
- Ralph Riegel

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