Portuguese police seize 5 tons of cocaine worth $232 million from a yacht in the Atlantic Ocean

U.S., Spanish, and British authorities assisted in operation 'White Tide'

Portuguese police seized more than five metric tons of cocaine worth $232 million off a 79-foot yacht in the Atlantic Ocean in cooperation with Spanish, British and U.S. authorities. 

The operation, dubbed "White Tide," stopped 183 bales of cocaine from entering Europe through the Iberian Peninsula, making it the largest seizure by Portuguese authorities in more than 15 years. 

Bales of cocaine weighting some 5.2 tons and a seized yacht are displayed for the media at a Portuguese Navy base in Almada, south of Lisbon, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021.  (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Bales of cocaine weighting some 5.2 tons and a seized yacht are displayed for the media at a Portuguese Navy base in Almada, south of Lisbon, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021.  (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

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"We are always expecting [more drug trafficking] and this is the message we want to send organizations: We are waiting for you," Portugal's Judiciary Police Chief Luis Neves said at a press conference Monday, according to Reuters. 

"Those who have to fall will fall because this amount of drugs is an immense fortune and a huge blow for criminal groups."

Portugal's Judiciary Police said that three men were arrested "are strongly suspected of being part of a powerful transnational criminal organization dedicated to the trafficking of large quantities of cocaine."

Two of the suspects are Spanish and one is Peruvian, according to Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã

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The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency assisted in the operation. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.