Sixth cocaine yacht probe suspect hands himself in

Members of the navy stand behind cocaine taken from onboard the yacht Makayabella in Haulbowline naval base, Cobh, Co Cork
Members of the navy stand behind cocaine taken from onboard the yacht Makayabella in Haulbowline naval base, Cobh, Co Cork
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A 29-YEAR-OLD Leeds man being hunted by police over a plot to smuggle £100m in cocaine into the UK on a yacht has handed himself in.

The suspect, from the Halton Moor area, was detained at a police station in West Yorkshire last night and will be questioned today, according to the National Crime Agency.

He is the third person to be arrested in the UK in connection with the seizure of a yacht carrying a tonne of cocaine off the coast of Ireland on Tuesday.

Stephen Powell, 47, of Netherfield Road, Guiseley, was arrested following the seizure on board the yacht Makayabella last week, in an international operation involving the Irish Naval Service and the NCA.

He was remanded in custody when he appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on Saturday charged with conspiracy to import cocaine, an NCA spokesman said.

Three men detained on board the yacht were also charged by the Garda Siochana in Ireland with possessing cocaine with intent to import.

Powell’s father John Powell, 70, of Silsden, West Yorkshire, appeared in a special sitting of Cork District Court last night, along with Benjamin Mellor, 35, of Bradford and Thomas Britteon, 28, of Grimsby.

They were remanded in custody and will appear by video link at the same court next Thursday.

Stephen Powell will next appear at Leeds Crown Court on October 13. A 43-year-old man has been released on bail in West Yorkshire.

The luxury yacht was found on Tuesday 200 miles off the south-west coast of Ireland.