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Spain seizes 22 tons of hashish

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • 3 Dutch sailors were arrested
  • The seizure is called the biggest drug haul in a decade

Madrid, Spain (CNN) -- Spanish customs police said Friday they have seized 22 tons of hashish and arrested three Dutch sailors in an operation they described as the biggest drug haul in a decade and one of the five biggest in its history.

The government credited an air-surveillance operation for the interception, which was launched after customs officials learned that a 40-meter fishing vessel flying a Dutch flag might try to carry a cargo of hashish to Spain from Morocco, the government said in a posting on its website. On Thursday, the plane alerted a patrol boat, which intercepted and boarded the suspect vessel, called the Nancy II, after getting authorization from Dutch government officials.

Once the alleged contraband was discovered, the boat was taken to the Spanish port of Cadiz.