Cargo ship carrying US$51 million worth of drugs seized in Ukraine

Port of Odessa Image: Wikimedia Commons/Aktron Port of Odessa

A South American cargo ship that was suspected to be illegally transporting narcotics was seized by Ukrainian law enforcement officials in the Port of Odessa late last month.

Investigators from the country’s SBU security service were called upon to render assistance after port authorities found several packages containing an initially unknown powdery substance hidden among crates of bananas during their inspection of the vessel.

Analysis of the powder confirmed that it was cocaine, the SBU said in a statement.

The packages of cocaine had a total weight of around 257 kilograms, which had an estimated European street value equivalent to US$51 million.

The SBU has launched an investigation to determine the individuals behind this latest attempt to smuggle drugs into the country.

No details have yet been provided on the vessel's identity or its country of registry.

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