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Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
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3 tons of cocaine seized by Venezuelan navy
    #4562483 - 08/21/05 02:07 PM (12 years, 3 days ago)

Three tons of cocaine seized
August 21, 2005 - CNN

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- The Venezuelan navy seized 3 metric tons (3.3 U.S. tons) of cocaine aboard a Venezuelan-flagged boat in international waters east of Trinidad.

The boat, Don Matilde, was stopped Saturday during a joint operation that also involved the French navy, the Venezuelan television channel Globovision reported. The seizure occurred some 640 kilometers (400 miles) east of Trinidad, authorities said.

Nine crew members, including eight Venezuelans and one Peruvian, were detained, officials said.

Navy ships had been following the drug shipment for three days, officials said.

Venezuela often serves as a corridor for Colombian drugs -- mostly cocaine -- destined for the United States and Europe.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says officials have stepped up anti-drug efforts and are making important strides against trafficking.

Other observers suggest recent large seizures are netting a small portion of the high volume of illegal drugs being smuggled through the South American country.

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