Spanish authorities arrested a well-known Cornish surfer after they seized two tons of cocaine from a sailboat he was on. [video]
According to the BBC, James McNaught, a 42-year-old man who lives in Mount Wise, Newquay, was aboard a vessel when police intercepted it 200 miles from the Canaries. When police boarded the boat, a 40-foot yacht called Pepper Sauce, they found 61 bales of cocaine. McNaught was with two French nationals who were also arrested.
McNaught is well-known in Newquay lineups and “a regular feature at beaches like Fistral.” He worked as a builder in between jobs as a skipper and marine mechanic.
The operation that led to the arrests was started back in 2015. Customs officials, along with the police and a number of other law enforcement agencies, began investigating “a criminal organization dedicated to the traffic of narcotics by sea through sailboats.”
Recreational vessels were chartered to either move drugs directly to Spanish ports or meet other ships and then transfer the drugs. The operation was a big one—the British authorities, the Maritime Analysis and Operations Center on Drug Trafficking, the Center for Intelligence Against Terrorism and the Organized Crime, and the Ministry of Defense all had a hand in the bust.
McNaught, who was born in Leeds and moved to Newquay in 1989, left the UK when he was a teenager. “When he was 16, he just got on a plane to Lanzarote,” his sister, Linda Johnson, told the BBC. Six years ago, however, he returned with his then-pregnant Spanish wife, Sonia. According to relatives, after McNaught’s arrest, his wife was sent back to her home country.
Sailing Merchandise on Sale
Source : The Inertia | BBC