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Spain confiscates 35 tons of hashish smuggled in yachts

MADRID (AP) — Spanish authorities said Wednesday that they have confiscated 35 tons of hashish that was being smuggled aboard luxury yachts in what they called the country’s largest bust at sea involving the drug.

Spain’s Finance Ministry said the hashish was found when agents boarded four sailboats belonging to an alleged smuggling ring. Police found 30 tons of hash on the yachts in addition to 5 tons previously seized elsewhere.

Police said they arrested nine Bulgarians and one Russian and confiscated six yachts worth an estimated 5 million euros ($5.9 million) in the operation carried out from Sept. 24-28. The ministry said the operation is a “huge blow to what investigators consider the largest criminal organization dedicated to smuggling hashish via sea (into Spain)."

Spain said it received assistance during the investigation from Europol, the international Maritime Analysis and Operation Centre, and from authorities in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Greece and Italy.