US Coast Guard seizes $500 million worth of cocaine

Coast Guard officers found 18.5 tons of the drug. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 17 November 2018
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US Coast Guard seizes $500 million worth of cocaine

  • Officers arrested 49 suspects on the boats that were being used to transport the drugs
  • Officials say there are indications that the use of cocaine is on the increase

US authorities seized about 18.5 tons of cocaine with a street value of $500 million in the eastern Pacific Ocean, the US Coast Guard said on Friday.
The cocaine was taken off the Coast Guard cutter James in the Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday after it was confiscated from 15 drug smuggling vessels in the international waters, the Coast Guard said.
Multiple US Coast Guard cutters helped seize the drugs of Mexico, Central and South America, it said.
Some 49 suspects were also arrested and will be prosecuted in southern Florida, the Miami Herald reported.
Cocaine remains one of the most popular illegal drugs in the United States, where most of the world’s cocaine is consumed, according to federal officials.
“There are troubling early signs that cocaine use and availability is on the rise in the United States for the first time in nearly a decade,” the US State Department said in a global narcotics trade report in 2017.
Potential global cocaine output reached 1,410 tons in 2016, the highest level ever estimated, the United Nations said in a report on drugs and crime in 2018.


Swedish police arrest terrorist suspect with foreign links

Updated 13 December 2018
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Swedish police arrest terrorist suspect with foreign links

STOCKHOLM: Swedish security police said on Thursday they had arrested a person suspected of plotting a terrorist crime as well as illegal weapons possession in a case with connections abroad.
The SAPO security police said they made raids in western Sweden following extensive information-gathering. Several people were being interviewed in addition to the person arrested.
“The person has carried out preparations for the suspected terror crime for some time and there are international connections,” SAPO said, without giving an identity.
Police spokesman Gabriel Wernstedt declined to say which countries the case was linked to, but said the operation had no known links to a gun attack on a Christmas market in Strasbourg on Tuesday. French police are still hunting a man suspected of killing at least two people.
Sweden, where an Uzbek asylum seeker mowed down pedestrians with a truck and killed five people in Stockholm last year, has kept its terrorist threat level unchanged at elevated, which is a three on a scale of five.