Brazilian authorities seize 117 kg of cocaine destined for Turkey

Brazilian authorities seize 117 kg of cocaine destined for Turkey
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During an operation at Santos Port, Brazilian authorities confiscated 117 kilograms of cocaine concealed in plastic packaging in the "sea chest" compartment of a ship bound for Turkey.

Brazilian authorities on Wednesday announced that a total of 117 kilograms of cocaine destined for Turkey was seized during an operation conducted on a ship docked at Santos Port in the state of Sao Paulo, Voice of America Turkish reported.

The cocaine tablets were found hidden in plastic packaging in a compartment called the "sea chest", which is used to collect seawater to cool down the ship's systems.

The ship, which was loaded with cellulose, had arrived at the Santos Channel port and was en route to Italy, Turkey, and Egypt. Special divers were called in to locate the cocaine and remove it from the ship during the inspection carried out by the Federal Police, Brazilian Navy, and Federal Revenue Service, which was part of a joint effort to combat international drug trafficking.

Santos Port is the largest seaport in Latin America and has become a crucial center for cocaine smuggling to Africa and Europe. In 2020, a total of 162.4 million tons of cargo were shipped through the port. Brazilian anti-narcotics teams also seized 290 kg of cocaine from a ship loaded with cellulose at the port bound for Tekirdag, Turkey, in January of this year.

Last July, the Tekirdag Provincial Narcotics Department seized 242 kg of cocaine from a dry cargo ship arriving from Brazil at another port in Marmaraereglisi. These incidents indicate the increasing trend of Brazil being used as a transit point for international drug trafficking.

According to official figures, Brazil seized 96.6 tons of cocaine last year, and it is said to have become a favored route for international drug traffickers due to the relative advantage provided by heavy ship traffic and the country not being a direct target of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) compared to other drug-producing countries like Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador.