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Almost 10 tonnes of cocaine seized on Thursday in Cape Verde were incinerated on Saturday at a waste disposal site in Praia, the country’s capital, in an operation that involved large numbers of police and members of various security forces.
The drug seizure had been the largest ever in Cape Verde, made on board a Panama-flagged freighter that had docked in Praia, with 9,570kg of cocaine on board.
Eleven Russian citizens were detained during the operation and heard in court on Saturday.
The drug incineration operation began with preparations to transport 260 packages of cocaine in a container that was on the premises of Cape Verde’s Polícia Judiciária (PJ) force. The next step was putting the container in a lorry that took it to the Praia municipal rubbish dump for incineration there.
During its journey, the lorry was escorted by various vehicles carrying heavily armed military and police.
The freighter, which had come from South America, was bound for Tangier, Morocco, the PJ said, stressing that the boat had made a stopover in Praia to fulfil legal formalities relating to a crew death on board.
“However, before that, the PJ was already in possession of information that this was a vessel suspected of transporting an undetermined amount of narcotic drugs,” the statement reads.
The PJ said that the operation was undertaken based on operational information from the Lisbon-based MAOC-N Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre.
Portuguese and French police provided back-up and expert support, as did Cape Verde’s own armed forces and coastguard.
The freighter, with a capacity for 3,800 tonnes of cargo, remains docked at the port of Praia.Source: Lusa
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