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.
#Aeronaval logra ubicación y aseguramiento de cuantioso cargamento de presunta sustancia ilícita dentro de un contenedor supuestamente llevaba sacos de carbón/Puerto de Cristóbal/Colón procedente de la jurisdicción portuaria de Cuba/con destino final Estambul/Turquía #NoAlDelito pic.twitter.com/Uocm74ejU0— Senan Panamá (@SENANPanama) May 18, 2019
Unidades del @SENANPanama ubican 46 maletines con 1,517 paquetes de sustancias ilícitas en Puerto de Cristóbal, provincia de Colón, procedente de Cuba con destino final a Turquía. #ManoFirme pic.twitter.com/CVVqelUExp— Ministerio de Seguridad Pública de Panamá (@MinSegPma) May 18, 2019