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Millions of dollars worth of cocaine seized at Sea

Published:Thursday | February 12, 2015 | 12:00 AM

SAN JUAN ( CMC):

The United States law-enforcement authorities said they have seized 989 kilogrammes of cocaine on a vessel carrying a St Vincent and the Grenadines flag in the Caribbean Sea.

The US Coast Guard said it had collaborated the US Customs and Border Protection agency and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security investigations in the exercise that also netted 13 men after detaining a delivery vessel and coastal freighter, about eight miles off the coast of Puerto Rico.

Two Venezuelan nationals were charged "with conspiracy to import the aforementioned cocaine shipment", the Coast Guard said, adding that the cocaine has an estimated street value of US$29 million.

It said that the other suspects detained on the 267-foot St Vincent and Grenadines flag coastal freighter Atlantic VII were from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Peru, Panama and Ecuador. They were also charged with conspiracy to import a controlled substance into the United States.

The cocaine shipment, the detained smugglers, and the delivery vessel were transported to Coast Guard Sector San Juan, and transferred to ICE agents for further investigation, the Coast Guard said.