The Colombian military intercepted a ship in the Gulf of Uraba, near the Panamanian border, carrying almost 2.5 tons of cocaine.
The vessel was spotted by air force planes just as it was receiving the drugs from a speedboat, the navy said Thursday.
Naval units took the ship and crew to the coast guard station in Uraba, where a search uncovered the cocaine – valued at $58 million – as well as communications gear and 28 containers of fuel.
The seizure brings to roughly 40 tons the amount of cocaine confiscated this year in Colombia’s Caribbean waters.
Separately, 20 suspected members of a ring that smuggled cocaine to Europe and the United States were arrested Thursday in coordinated raids in four different Colombian cities, Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera told a press conference in the Caribbean port of Cartagena.
The criminal outfit was based in Cartagena, with branches in the port town of Turbo and on the Caribbean island of San Andres, the minister said.
Relying on collaborators on the docks of Cartagena, the ring hid cocaine inside containers on cargo ships bound for Europe, where associates extracted the drugs and replaced the security seals, Rivera said.
Drug shipments intended for the United States left from Turbo and San Andres via speedboats headed to Panama, Nicaragua and Honduras, investigators found.
(Source Latin American Herlad Tribune)