Two charged after significant drugs haul seized from boat off Cornwall

Drugs are unloaded from a boat by officers at Newlyn harbour (Ben Birchall/PA) Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Two men have been charged following a “major seizure of cocaine” from a boat in the English Channel.

Dutch nationals Maarten Peter Pieterse, 59, and Emile Adriaan Jeroen Schoemaker, 44, were charged with drug importation offences, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

The yacht they were on was intercepted off the coast of south-west Cornwall on Thursday and escorted to Newlyn.

Photographs show officers from the NCA unloading a large number of parcels wrapped in coloured packaging.

The pair will appear at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.

Newlyn harbour was closed for several hours while the bomb squad investigated an item recovered from the boat.

Two men have been charged after the yacht was seized in the English Channel by the National Crime Agency Credit: National Crime Agency /PA

The NCA called the operation a “major seizure of cocaine”.

A spokesman said: “As part of a National Crime Agency-led operation, the Border Force cutter HMC Vigilant intercepted a sailing yacht off the south-west coast of Cornwall and escorted the vessel into Newlyn harbour where it arrived on Thursday.

The Newlyn harbourmaster later confirmed the harbour had been reopened.

Bomb disposal units and National Crime Agency officers at Newlyn harbour after the yacht was seized in the English Channel Credit: Ben Birchall/PA