Mar­shalls fish­er­man hauls in 48 ki­los of co­caine

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - WORLD -

MAJURO, Marshall Is­lands: A fish­er­man in the Marshall Is­lands net­ted more than he bar­gained for when he hauled in his catch to find a sus­pected 48 kilo­grammes of co­caine.

The white pow­der, pro­fes­sion­ally wrapped and taped in plas­tic bags, had a street value of about US$4 mil­lion , po­lice said.

“We’re pretty sure we got all of it,” deputy po­lice com­mis­sioner Rob­son Al­men added, say­ing there was no in­di­ca­tion the packs had bro­ken out from a larger bun­dle.

Al­men said the fish­er­man called the po­lice when he found the drugs last week while trawl­ing off Kwa­jalein Atoll, 494 kilo­me­tres from the cap­i­tal Majuro.

Marshall Is­lands law en­force­ment per­son­nel have re­quested US Drug En­force­ment Agency as­sis­tance as the west­ern Pa­cific ter­ri­tory does not have a lab­o­ra­tory ca­pa­ble of con­firm­ing the sub­stance is co­caine.

How­ever, the re­mote ar­chi­pel­ago, which is on the north­ern trans-Pa­cific co­caine route from South Amer­ica to Asia, has a his­tory of co­caine finds.

Be­tween 2002 and 2009, bun­dles of co­caine and boats with co­caine on board were found washed up on beaches around the Marshall Is­lands on at least six oc­ca­sions.

“This in­di­cates a very sub­stan­tial and long-es­tab­lished co­caine trade, and one on a mas­sive scale,” ac­cord­ing to a 2012 re­port in the Asia Pa­cific De­fence Re­porter, an Aus­tralia-based mil­i­tary and law en­force­ment-re­lated web­site. — AFP

We’re pretty sure we got all of it. Rob­son Al­men, deputy po­lice com­mis­sioner

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