Panama seizes $90M worth of cocaine in ship coming from Cuba, authorities say

Panamanian authorities discover 1,517 bricks of cocaine

A Panamanian soldier guards the cocaine found inside a shipping container. Photo courtesy of Panamanian authorities

MIAMI – Panama seized a shipment of cocaine valued at $90 million. It was inside of a container that was in a ship that was coming from Cuba, authorities said. 

Panamanian authorities intercepted the cargo Saturday at the Puerto de Cristóbal. There were 1,517 wide bricks of cocaine hidden inside of 46 large black duffle bags with wheels. 

The shipment had been described as sacks of coal, authorities said. Although the incident remains under investigation, authorities suspect the cocaine was placed in the ship in Panama and not Cuba. 

"The contamination of containers at cargo ports represents one of the main modalities used by drug trafficking networks," the Panamanian authorities said in a statement released to The Associated press on Tuesday. 

The ship was set to dock in Rotterdam, Holland, enroute to Turkey. Experts believe the cocaine that goes through Panama on its way to Europe originates from Colombia, Peru or Ecuador. 

About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.