At least 55kg of cannabis has been confiscated by police during a raid on a Marsaskala fishing boat berthing in Malta following weeks of surveillance and investigation.
Three Italian men have also been arrested. All three are Maltese residents, and are aged 34, 35 and 54.
Police said they estimate the find to be worth €750,000.
The cannabis was found in plastic bags hidden within six larger cloth bags, stored in various spots throughout the boat.
The raid occurred on Wednesday and involved members of the Rapid Intervention Unit and the Drug Squad encircling the boat as soon as it arrived.
One man attempted to flee by jumping into the sea but was caught shortly afterwards.
Another man waiting for them to arrive is also being held by police.
After the arrests, police searched the men’s homes and found cannabis plants and some white substance, believed to be cocaine.
The two men on the vessel are believed to be facing court on Friday. Investigations are ongoing, police said.
Malta decriminalised cannabis in 2015, and legalised medicinal cannabis in 2018. However, police continue to crack down on cannabis trafficking, oftentimes leaving an estimated 40,000 cannabis users in Malta to dig deeper into the local black market as the plant’s availability can change in an instant.