Italy impounds $631m cocaine in container, cargo ship

Italy impounds $631m cocaine in container, cargo ship


Italian police on Thursday said it has seized 2.7 tons of cocaine worth an estimated $631million in a container and aboard a cargo ship. It is the country’s largest hard drug seizure in 25 years.

The police had on January 15 seized 644 kilograms of cocaine worth $148 million hidden in bags of Honduran coffee aboard a Portuguese-flagged cargo ship from Puerto Cortes, Honduras, at the port of Livorno.

The police in another operation on January 23, discovered 2.1 tons of pure cocaine with an estimated street value of $483 million, divided into 1,801 blocks dispatched from Turbo port in Colombia in a container declared as empty, destined for Barcelona in Spain.

According to Italian financial police, authorities intercepted the shipment and quickly replaced the cocaine with salt before sending it on to Barcelona as planned to help authorities there arrest a 59-year-old Spaniard who was to receive it.

It said the syndicate behind the trafficking is a group known as the “Gulf Clan,” noting that the group is active in several European ports to receive drugs for sale on the European market.   

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