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Spanish, Portuguese, British police raid ship loaded with 2 tons of cocaine in mid-Atlantic

The Interior Ministry says Spanish, Portuguese and British police have boarded a ship loaded with nearly two tons of cocaine destined for sale in Europe and arrested nine people.

Specialist agents, including members of Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency, conducted a dawn raid on March 15 while the ship was in the Atlantic Ocean, some 700 miles southwest of Portugal's Cape Verde islands.

Four Brazilians and one Korean crewman aboard were arrested and four alleged organizers — including the suspected Venezuelan mastermind — were rounded up the next day in the northern Portuguese city of Porto.

Cocaine bales hidden in a bow locker and a backpack with a large amount in U.S. dollars were seized.

The gang included a large group of Venezuela-based cocaine suppliers, a ministry statement said Saturday.