Quite a bust. And not a great look for Russia. Nearly ten tons of cocaine hauled by 11 Russian nationals on a vessel registered in Panama. The sailors and their 9.5-ton coke stash were arrested in Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), an island nation off the north-western edge of Africa.
A lot of cocaine and meth passes through Cape Verde (Google Map location) en route to Europe and Africa.
Russian state media RBK (look 'em up) was first to report the news.
“The authorities of the Republic of Cape Verde suspected Russian sailors, who went under the flag of Panama, in transporting 9.5 tons of cocaine,” reported rbc.ru, with photos from the Cape Verdean government, at pj.gov.cv.
Police say this is the largest single drug haul in the island country’s history.
More from Reuters:
An Atlantic archipelago of 500,000 people off Africa’s west coast, Cape Verde has long tried to tackle gangs trafficking Latin American cocaine to Europe via West Africa.
The 9.5 tonnes of cocaine were seized overnight after the ship, which was travelling to Morocco from South America, docked at the port of Praia for legal reasons following the death of a crew member, the judiciary police said in a statement.
Photos provided by the police on Friday showed dozens of brick-like packages wrapped in plastic and cloth sacks at the port.
The police said they was alerted by the Maritime Analysis and Operation Center - a platform coordinating the anti-drug trafficking actions of seven E.U. states - who suspected the ship of transporting illicit substances.
Власти республики Кабо-Верде заподозрили российских моряков, шедших под флагом Панамы, в перевозке 9,5 т кокаинаhttps://t.co/tlZRZYrfmN
— РБК (@ru_rbc) February 1, 2019
Bad news for Russian MFA. Russian attache is already in contact with authorities on the case https://t.co/kbRjMkEthH
— Liveuamap (@Liveuamap) February 1, 2019