The suspects in court this morning. | A Sepulveda

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Another great result on the war against drug trafficking in the Balearics.

This morning, eight of the nine, three Mallorcans, accused of belonging to a drug trafficking gang that tried to smuggle 600 kilos of cocaine from the island of Martinique to Mallorca in 2019 accepted sentences totalling 29 years and fines exceeding 1.2 billion euros in a Palma court. One of the defendants has been acquitted.

The court heard how one of the Mallorcans and a yacht skipper, agreed to travel to Martinique in October 2018 in a 13.4-metre sailboat to pick up and transport a large consignment of cocaine to Spain. One of them was hired by a third party, who carried out intermediary tasks and whose role included finding people who could crew the boat.

In December of that year they arrived at their destination, where a man, whose whereabouts are unknown, was waiting for them. In February, one of the two defendants who had arrived in Martinique decided to return to Mallorca due to disagreements with the organisation of the trip.

However, he left the boat ready to load the cocaine and received 20,000 euros in advance for his work, leaving 1.8 million euros pending payment.

The Mallorcan, in order to carry out the necessary logistics to ensure the transfer and the collection of the money, hired two women in Mallorca.

When the skipper arrived in Mallorca, the network began to look for another person who was capable of sailing the boat. The latter arrived in March 2019 in Martinique, where a companion was waiting for him.

Shortly afterwards they set course for the Balearics, but the operation was cut short on 19 May 2019, when the Guardia Civil intercepted the yacht off the coast of Fuengirola (Málaga).

A total of almost 600 kilos of cocaine, valued at more than 100 million euros, were intercepted in a double bottom prepared by the Mallorcan skipper in the bathroom of the forward cabin and in the living room.

Most of it was in packages bearing the Louis Vuitton logo. The crew members of the 'Kayros' were arrested at the time and weeks later the other seven members of the organisation were picked up.