Spanish police seize cocaine worth $114 million from cattle ship
By Borja Suarez
MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish police seized 4.5 tonnes of cocaine with an estimated street value of 105 million euros ($114 million) after raiding a cattle ship off the Canary Islands earlier this week, a statement said on Saturday.
The ship had stopped at ports in about a dozen countries before Tuesday’s raid, and police said drug smugglers had started using livestock ships because it was more difficult for police to trace their illicit cargo.
“International organisations are reinventing themselves to transport drugs from Latin America to Europe, using livestock to make the control and localisation more difficult,” the Spanish police statement said.
Police arrested 28 crew members on the Togo-flagged Orion V, which had been trailed from Colombia in an operation by Spanish authorities, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Togo police.
Officers unloaded dozens of boxes containing the cocaine on the port side in Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria.
($1 = 0.9202 euros)
(Additional reporting by Graham Keeley and Miguel Gutierrez; Editing by Helen Popper)