By Jite Eriabie
Over a tonne of cocaine was found on board a Roll-on/Roll-off (RORO) cargo ship named Agat which was intercepted in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean by the Portuguese authorities in an operation aimed at curbing illicit drug trafficking by sea.
The Portuguese drug enforcement agency, in cooperation with the Portuguese Navy and Air Force, confiscated 1,130 kilograms of cocaine carried by the RORO ship.
The contraband was being transported from Latin America to Europe, with the aim of being distributed to different countries, the judiciary police said on Monday.
17 men of foreign nationalities, aged between 24 and 63, who were on board the ship, were detained, and are suspected of being part of a transnational criminal organization.
The drug seizure is part of an investigation of Portuguese authorities in cooperation with counterparts from France and the United Kingdom.
The 6,190 dwt ship is flagged in Comoros and was built in 1988. According to its latest AIS data, it remains moored in Lisbon, Portugal.
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