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Wednesday 17 September 2014

President Higgins inspected Spanish tall ship later found with €10m worth of cocaine stowed

Published 07/08/2014 | 18:34

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President Michael D. Higgins (right) is greeted by Spanish Ambassador to Ireland Javier Garrigues Florez (second left) as he arrives onboard  the 'Juan Sebastian de Elcano at Sir John Rogersons Quay, Dublin.
President Michael D. Higgins (right) is greeted by Spanish Ambassador to Ireland Javier Garrigues Florez (second left) as he arrives onboard the 'Juan Sebastian de Elcano at Sir John Rogersons Quay, Dublin.

PRESIDENT Higgins inspected the Spanish tall ship which was later found with €10m worth of cocaine on board.

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Spanish police have seized 127kg of the drug on board the Juan Sebastian de Elcano.

It visited Dublin as part of the tall ships festival just two months ago – and President Higgins inspected the navy vessel, accompanied by Spanish ambassador Javier Garrigues Florez.

The seizure has a street value of almost €10m.

It was found in a storeroom of a navy training ship - officers believe that it was loaded during a stop in Colombia.

Three sailors were arrested by Spanish authorities last month after the ship returned home.

It is believed drug traffickers contacted the sailors when the ship was on a stopover in Columbia.

It is reported the drugs were stowed underneath the vessel's reserve sails.

US authorities contacted Spanish police after a man arrested with 20kg in New York claimed he had bought it off sailors from the ship.

The ship has just completed a six-month, 18,000 nautical mile tour when the cocaine was discovered.

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