RCMP seized 1001 kilograms of cocaine in the bust. ((RCMP))

RCMP in B.C. have seized 1,001 kilograms of cocaine and charged two men who sailed into a remote Vancouver Island port on a 50-foot Panamanian-registered sailboat.

Scott Pedersen, 39, of Victoria and Vicente Hernandez, 38, of Mexico were arrested March 6 in Port Hardy and later charged with one count each of possession of drugs for the purposes of trafficking.

The police seized also the pair's sailboat, called The Huntress, and a 15-foot rigid-hull inflatable boat and motor, along with numerous pieces of sophisticated electronic equipment.

Officials first became suspicious of the vessel after it was hailed by the Marine Security Operations Centre and the crew provided inaccurate information about its identity. When the vessel arrived in Port Hardy, the RCMP boarded the boat and arrested two men.

But police believe several people were involved in the smuggling effort and are appealing for information from the public to track down other suspects.


A 50-foot sailboat named the Huntress was also seized. ((RCMP))

"This bust shows the sheer magnitude of just one organized-crime operation, which would have translated into hundreds of millions of dollars of cocaine on the street," B.C. Solicitor General Kash Heed said Monday morning in Vancouver.

With files from The Canadian Press