US seizes $17 mn of cocaine from speedboat in Caribbean
US authorities seized half a ton of cocaine with a street value of $17 million from a speedboat off the coast of the Dominican Republican and arrested four people, the US Coast Guard said Friday.
A patrol aircraft spotted the suspicious vessel on Sunday southeast of the island of Isla Beata in the Caribbean Sea, before US Coast Guard officials -- traveling with a Dutch naval force -- boarded the boat and discovered 22 packages of cocaine.
Four suspected smugglers were detained by US authorities and face prosecution.
"This seizure highlights how effectively the US Coast Guard and our allied partners are working together to disrupt the flow of illicit drugs from South America into the United States, the Caribbean and Europe," said Cmdr. Timothy Cronin, of the Coast Guard 7th District in Miami.
"We have to keep these drugs from penetrating our borders. More importantly, we have to get after the organized criminal networks that fuel the violence and instability in the Western Hemisphere."
Since October 2014, the Coast Guard has seized cocaine worth $7.4 billion.
© 2015 AFP