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Multinational anti-drugs operation results in one of the largest cocaine seizures in history

May 16, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Multinational anti-drugs operation results in one of the largest cocaine seizures in history

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A pair of multinational raids involving the United States, European, and South American law enforcement agencies resulted in one of the largest drug hauls in history, seizing a total of eight tons of cocaine.

During the first operation, Spanish authorities, along with Ecuadorian National Police, intercepted a vessel on May 4th off the coast of the South American country containing 5.5 metric tons of Colombian cocaine destined for Spain

Officials said in a statement that the cocaine was loaded on the vessel in the Pacific and was headed to the Panama Canal, before crossing the Atlantic to Europe.

The second seizure occurred near Martinica, after Spanish police stopped a Venezuela-flagged fishing vessel of cocaine carrying 2.5 metric tons of cocaine.

Authorities transported the ship to Las Palmas in Spain’s Canary Islands.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and Britain’s National Crime Agency also took part in the joint operation.

Law enforcement officials estimated the drug shipment seized off the coast of Ecuador to be $250 million.

In a statement, Spain’s Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said Ecuadorean anti-narcotics agents boarded the vessel three nautical miles off of the Santa Elena province.

Police arrested 24 suspected drug traffickers during the first interdiction.

“It is one of the largest cocaine seizures in history and it takes apart a large drug-trafficking organization between South America and Spain,” Zoido told El Pais.

The massive seizures were made possible after Spanish authorities received intelligence in January that a South American ring, with ties in Spain, were organizing a massive transport of cocaine.

Spanish officials corroborated the information with intelligence gathered by the U.S., British and Portuguese authorities, the statement indicated.

Ecuador has increasingly become a staging point used by transnational drug trafficking organizations for the shipping of illegal narcotics to Europe.

So far in 2017, authorities have confiscated 30 tons of cocaine in the South American country.

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