Colombian police seize 2.6 tons of cocaine in separate operations

Police on Saturday seized more than 2 tons of cocaine hidden on a beach on the Caribbean coast and arrested five suspected traffickers who were apparently preparing to load the drugs aboard a speedboat bound for Central America or Mexico.

Another 600 kilograms of cocaine were discovered aboard a fishing boat sailing near the Caribbean resort city of Cartagena, authorities said.

During the raid on the beach near Barranquilla, some 700 kilometers (435 miles) north of Bogota, police also confiscated nine vehicles and eight horses.

"The drugs were hidden on the beach and were later going to be taken by horse to a speed boat bound for the north," Atlantico state police chief Gen. Luis Gomez told Caracol radio. Police said the drugs were worth an estimated US$2.8 million on U.S. streets.

In the second seizure Saturday, six suspects were arrested aboard the fishing boat that was apparently carrying the cocaine toward Caribbean islands for onward shipment to the United States or Europe.

The Colombian Navy, often operating with forces from other countries, seized more than 100 tons so far this year, compared with 85 tons in all of 2004, then a record, according to Adm. Jairo Pena, commander of the Pacific fleet, AP reported. V.A.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team