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  1. ITV Report

Royal Navy intercepts tug boat with 'two tons' of cocaine on board

Credit: National Crime Agency

A large shipment of cocaine has been seized from a boat intercepted at sea by the Royal Navy and Coastguard.

The ocean-going tug boat MV Hamal was halted on Thursday by two ships from the UK Border Force and the Royal Navy, following information from French customs, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of Scotland.

Credit: National Crime Agency

Officials say the vessel was carrying more than two tons of cocaine.

The drugs were found when HMS Somerset and Border Force cutter Valiant intercepted the Hamal, a 35-metre tugboat registered in the Marshall Islands and owned by a Ukrainian company.

Britain`s National Crime Agency (NCA) said nine men aged between 26 and 63 would appear before an Aberdeen court on Monday charged with drug trafficking offences.

John McGowan, from the NCA`s Border Policing Command, said:

This is a potentially significant seizure of illegal drugs.

The exact amount of cocaine on board is yet to be determined and the search is likely to continue for some time

– John McGowan, NCA.