Drug smugglers being sentenced after cocaine worth £500m found on ship


Two Turkish men convicted of smuggling £500 million worth of cocaine on board a ship will be sentenced today.

Mumin Sahin and Emin Ozmen were tried after three tonnes of the Class A drug were uncovered inside the MV Hamal about 100 miles off the coast of Aberdeen.

The 2015 seizure is said to be the biggest single cocaine haul ever recovered at sea in Europe.

The Tanzanian-registered tugboat, sailing from Istanbul to Tenerife and then to the North Sea, was stopped by the Royal Navy frigate HMS Somerset and Border Force cutter HMC Valiant, and the drugs found in a specially-adapted hold.

Sahin, 47, and Ozmen, 51, were found guilty of being concerned with the carrying and concealing of cocaine on the ship between February 20 and April 23 last year, and of being concerned in the supplying of cocaine between April 21 and April 23.

Charges against four other men were found not proven.

Officers boarded the Hamal following a tip-off from French customs body DNRED, and once it was docked in Aberdeen they drilled through a steel plate to find 128 bales of cocaine weighing 3.2 tonnes.