Authorities on the Northwest African island nation of Cape Verde have detained a cargo ship and arrested its entire crew after it was discovered to be carrying a significant quantity of cocaine.
The Panama-flagged Eser entered Praia Port in the country’s capital on Thursday, January 31, after declaring an onboard emergency.
Local police stated that the ship made an unscheduled port call at Praia following the unexpected death of one of the crewmembers, the cause of which has not been disclosed.
The police made a thorough search of Eser’s hold after receiving a tip from the Maritime Analysis and Operation Centre (MAOC) in Lisbon that the ship was transporting illicit substances.
Found on board were numerous plastic-wrapped brick-like cloth packages containing cocaine.
The seized narcotics totaled around 9.5 tonnes, making this the largest single drug haul in Cape Verde’s history.
Eser’s remaining 11 crewmembers, all Russian nationals, have since been arrested and charged.
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