Three men have been charged with drug offences after £7.5 million worth of drugs was found in a yacht off the Sussex coast.

Border Force officers intercepted a yacht off the coast of Newhaven and seized 2,500 kg of cannabis.

The Border Force vessel, HMC Searcher, was patrolling the area on Friday and deployed a rigid hull inflatable boat to approach the yacht, which was around ten miles offshore approaching Beachy Head.

After searching the yacht Border Force officers found cannabis worth about £7.5 million.

Three men were arrested and the case was passed to the National Crime Agency for further investigation.

Hermann Josef Deuss, 63, and Willi Heinz Riechling, 56, both from Dusseldorf, Germany and Walter Untermayer, 64, from Austria have been charged with offences under the Criminal Justice and International Co-operation Act.

They appeared at Brighton Magistrates Court on Monday and have been remanded in custody until their next court appearance on August 13.

Carole Upshall, Border Force Regional Director said: “Our fleet of cutters operate 24 hours a day responding to intelligence and patrolling the length and breadth of the UK.

“They play a key role in intercepting and deterring shipments of drugs and other prohibited goods, as well as criminal gangs who attempt to traffic people into the country.”