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Spanish police seize 4,500 kg of cocaine worth $114 million from cattle ship

WION logo WION 28-01-2023 Harshit Sabarwal
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The Spanish police have seized 4.5 tonnes (4,500 kilograms) of cocaine worth $114 million (105 million euros) after they raided a cattle ship off the Canary Islands on Tuesday (January 24). The police said on Saturday (January 28) that the Orion V-  Togolese-flagged cargo ship that transported cattle from Latin America to the Middle East, was under surveillance for more than two years. The ship was previously checked and searched but no drugs were found despite the presence of sufficient clues, the police added, as per a report by the news agency AFP on Saturday. 

A joint operation on Tuesday- which included the Spanish police, the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre for narcotics (MAOC-N), located the cocaine hidden inside a container used to feed the cattle. Visuals shared by the Spanish police showed officers walking inside the Orion V, discharging the packs of drugs, opening the packages and weighing them. 

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"In this operation 62 miles off the Canary Islands, the cargo ship Orion V was intercepted while having more than 4500 kilos of cocaine. Their 28 crew members from nine different nationalities have been arrested. After inspecting the ship common areas, officers detected in a feed silo an undetermined number of packages commonly used for cocaine traffic," Spanish police spokesperson Maria Buyo said on Thursday, news agency Reuters reported on Saturday. 

In mid-January this year, the police raided another Togolese-flagged vessel ''Blume'' in the southeast of the Canary Islands. The same amount of cocaine- 4.5 tonnes- was found here as well. The police said that in total, nine tonnes of drugs had been seized this month, as per the AFP report on Saturday. 

Also this month, the Spanish police busted a criminal gang that smuggled more than 5,000 tonnes of hazardous electronic waste from the Canary Islands to several African nations. According to Spain's finance ministry, the police arrested 43 suspected of having illegally shipped 331 containers of used electronics to Africa over the last two years. 

(With inputs from agencies)


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