The Spanish police and customs officials have made their largest-ever drug bust by seizing about 9 tons of cocaine hidden in a stash of 1,080 boxes of bananas. It is estimated to be the largest drug quantity found in a single shipping container entering Europe. The Spanish police also arrested six people in connection with drug smuggling; four of them in Spain and two in the French city of Lyon. According to the Columbian government, the shipment belonged to the Gulf Clan, the largest and most powerful drug cartel in the country.
The cargo ship travelling from the Colombian port of Turbo docked at the Bay of Gibraltar port of Algeciras, the Mediterranean’s largest port, on April 22, 2018. The operation was a joint effort by Europol and the Columbian government. After Mexico took control of drug smuggling routes to the U.S., South American traffickers have turned their attention to Europe as an alternative market to America. Interior Minister of Spain Juan Ignacio Zoido has vowed to fight drug traffickers and “keep drugs off the streets.”
Cocaine is a common recreational drug with a high potential for abuse due to its euphoria-generating properties. Cocaine abuse can lead to severe physical and psychological damage in users requiring professional cocaine abuse treatment.
China’s biggest ever drug bust of cocaine worth $160 million
China too recorded its largest drug bust, seizing 1.3 tons of cocaine worth $160 million. While the police did not clarify whether the drugs were meant for the Chinese market or not, they are believed to have been smuggled to the Guangdong province from South America.
The investigation began in July 2017 after the police from Shenzhen received a tip. They subsequently detained 10 suspects, mostly from Hong Kong. According to a statement released on April 24, 2018, the drug bust is the “biggest amount of cocaine seized in the country.”
In lieu of the recent large-scale drug busts of cocaine, it seems like cocaine is gaining back popularity across the globe. On Tuesday, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) unloaded 12 tons of cocaine and 1 ton of marijuana at Port Everglades. The drug load was the result of 17 separate operations by the USCG cutters with a street value of almost $1 billion. The drugs were seized by the USCG in co-operation with the Canadian Navy and Mexican government.
According to Capt. John Driscoll, USCG cutter Bertholf’s commanding officer, drug seizures help prevent human suffering and save many others from death.
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