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.