The authorities in Guinea-Bissau said on Tuesday that police had seized more than 1.8 tons of cocaine hidden in flour bags, the largest seizure in the country’s history.
Police said the drugs had arrived from the sea to the northwest and arrested eight people, four of them nationals, three from Colombia and the other from Mali, after a two-week intelligence operation.
1.8 tons of cocaine hidden in flour bags, largest seizure in the country’s history
This is the second major drug seizure this year in the former Portuguese colony, which has long been a major transit point for cocaine from Latin America to Europe. In March, 800 kilograms of cocaine were seized.
“Drugs belong to the al-Qaeda terrorist network. Cocaine comes from Colombia, but its destination is the Maghreb region”, said Domingos Monteiro, deputy director of the judicial police.
The Al-Qaeda branch in North and West Africa is mainly stationed in the northern and central Mali, but has a presence throughout the region, and authorities in the region have long indicated involvement in drug trafficking in the lawless Sahara.
The authorities in Guinea-Bissau are investigating and more arrests expected in coming days.
“Drugs belong to the al-Qaeda terrorist network. Drugs comes from Colombia”, Domingos Monteiro, deputy director of the judicial police.
Guinea-Bissau is a tropical country on West Africa’s Atlantic coast that’s known for national parks and wildlife. The forested, sparsely populated Bijagós archipelago is a protected biosphere reserve.
Its main island, Bubaque, forms part of the, Orango Island National Park, a habitat for saltwater hippos. On the mainland, the capital, Bissau, is a port with Portuguese colonial buildings in its old city center.