Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Dutch pair charged in Britain after cocaine haul seized from boat

FILE PHOTO

LONDON: A pair of Dutch nationals appeared in a British court on Saturday (Jul 21) after authorities seized one of their largest-ever hauls of cocaine, aboard a yacht off the south-west coast.

Maarten Peter Pieterse, 59, and Emile Adriaan Jeroen Schoemaker, 44, appeared via video-link at Bristol Magistrates’ Court in south-west England charged with drug importation offences.

Pieterse did not enter a plea, while Schoemaker pleaded not guilty.

They have been remanded in custody and are due to appear next in court on Aug 20.

The two were arrested Thursday after the Netherlands-registered boat that they were travelling on was intercepted by a Border Force cutter 120 miles (193 kilometres) off the far southwestern county of Cornwall.

Officers discovered bales of cocaine wrapped in plastic bagging in a compartment beneath the decking area at the rear of the vessel, the SY Marcia, Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said in a statement.

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