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  1. ITV Report

Men caught with £1.2m million worth of cocaine crammed on their yacht

Hendrik Brugmans and Raymond Aalders Credit: National Crime Agency

Two men who tried to smuggle cocaine worth £1.2 million into Europe in a yacht have been sentenced to more than 34 years in prison between them.

Dutch nationals Hendrik Brugmans, 69, and Raymond Aalders, 47, filled their boat with so much of the class A drug that it was left listing noticeably to one side.

They were caught out after British border forces noticed the vessel off the coast of Sussex and conducted a search.

Officials found hundreds of packages of drugs crammed into a workshop, water tank, and underneath benches.

The yacht Golem was listing to one side and had its beacon turned off Credit: National Crime Agency

The total stash weighed nearly one tonne and was 70 percent pure, with an expected street value of around £1.20 million.

Aalders and Brugmans, who is thought to have been paid £1.2 million Euros for his role, accepted they had sailed the boat from the Caribbean. Officials believe it was ultimately bound for the Netherlands.

Both men admitted pleaded guilty to importing class A drugs at Maidstone Crown Court. Brugmans was sentenced to 20 years and nine months while and Aalders was given 14 years.

Some of the cocaine packages stuffed into every corner of the boat Credit: National Crime Agency

Matt Rivers from the NCA’s Border Investigation, said the two men had made an "audacious" crime.

Their reckless attempts to avoid detection by breaching sailing regulations could have had extremely dangerous consequences.

It is believed the final destination of the boat was to be the Netherlands but given the sheer scale of this seizure, it is likely that a large amount of the drugs would have ended up being sold on the streets of the UK.

– Matt Rivers