Authorities in Spain seize 332 kilos of cocaine in transit via Brazil to Liberia

PARIS, France –– Authorities in Spain have seized 332 kilograms of cocaine that smugglers hid in a shipment of sugar from Brazil at the southwestern port of Algeciras.

According to the Spanish revenue and customs agency, the discovery was made during a routine check of goods prior to taxation.

The smugglers were transshipping the goods through Spain on their way to the Liberian capital, Monrovia, according to a spokesman at the agency.

Spain’s police, tax agency, and Civil Guard initiated a joint operation after being tipped off about the possibility that a container was contaminated with dangerous drugs, including containing an undetermined amount of narcotics.

The intelligence was as a result of a scanner image inspection that was scrutinized after the cargo ship had left Brazil.

Law enforcement authorities in Spanish found 12 sports bags filled with the dangerous drugs, concealed between sacks of sugar during a search of one of the containers in the shipment.
The discovery represents a case of the so-called rip-off smuggling technique, which involves concealing products within legal cargo.

Liberia has become a new terrain for drug trafficking because of the collaboration of senior government officials of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Once the drug reaches Liberia, the smugglers then became to distribute internationally, including shipping to the United States, Europe, Asia, Middle East and other parts of Africa.

According to Globe Afrique’s investigative findings, Liberian youths are now being contaminated and destroyed by drug intake in a country already weak and poor in terms of mental illness treatment.

International security analysts say Liberia is ripped with drug smugglers because the Liberian authorities are corrupt and inept.  The main enablers of the drug and money laundering ring in the country are people closely connected to the Liberian presidency.

A few months ago, the convey of the Liberian presidency was busted while smuggling tons of dangerous drugs.  Those arrested included top security officers assigned to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

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Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.
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