(ANSA) - Rome, August 17 - In a joint Italian-Spanish operation carried out on the high seas, Spanish police on Friday seized a ship carrying three tons of cocaine to Europe from South America. The ship, heading towards the Spanish coast of Galizia, was spotted during the night by specially equipped planes from Italy's tax police. Spanish police then seized the vessel, just off Portugal, and brought it to Cadiz, on Spain's Atlantic coast. Police said the trafficking operation was coordinated from Madrid and involved 31 people, including 21 members of the crew and a corrupt Spanish police officer. The drugs were to be distributed throughout Europe, according to police.