Africa

Algeria seizes 700kg of cocaine on container ship

The container seized by Algeria Image copyright Algerian Defence Ministry
Image caption The Algerian coastguard forced the container into the port of Oran

Algerian authorities have seized more than 700kg (1,543lb) of cocaine smuggled aboard a container ship and made 20 arrests.

The vessel was carrying frozen meat from Brazil and had previously docked in Valencia, Spain.

It was due to offload in Algeria's western port of Oran but suspicions were raised when the captain refused to dock for three days.

Acting on a tip-off, the Algerian coastguard forced the boat into port.

Image copyright Algerian Defence Ministry
Image caption Algeria's authorities later published photos of the seized drugs

The drugs were then found aboard the Liberian-registered ship, the Vega Mercury, in boxes marked "halal meat".

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