Italian Authorities “Fished Out” 2 Tonnes of Cocaine
Italian authorities said on Monday that they have fished out nearly two tonnes of cocaine packed in waterproof packages that were floating in the sea near the eastern coast of Sicily.
If the seized drug had made it to the streets, it could have been sold for more than 400 million euros (US$436.93 million), Guardia di Finanza, the Italian financial police said in a statement.
The drug was packed in more than 1,600 single packages, which were then stacked into 70 bigger boxes and coated with waterproof material and fishnets.
According to the Guardia di Finanza, the consignment was most likely thrown out from a cargo ship along the shore and was marked with beacons so that it could be tracked, recovered, and transported to the mainland.
The authorities, however, spotted the strange floating goods during a routine patrol and swiftly dispatched sea and air troops to pursue and grab the haul. Only when they opened them, officers realized the packages were stuffed with cocaine.
“The detection and subsequent seizure of this quantity of cocaine, one of the largest ever carried out on national territory, certainly prevented the drug from being retrieved by criminals for further illicit sale in the national territory, which would have produced extremely high profit,” read the statement.
The Italian financial police also stated that they were continuing to scour the region for potentially more floating parcels.