BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombian authorities say they’ve made the biggest cocaine seizure in the history of a country long plagued by traffic in the drug.
The National Police agency said Sunday that 50 commandos backed by helicopters seized about 8 tons of cocaine on a banana plantation in the northwestern region of Antioquia.
It said the drugs belonged to a gang known as the Clan Usuaga and was apparently destined for the Caribbean and then to the United States.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos sent a tweet congratulating police on what he called the largest cocaine seizure in the history of Colombia, one of the world’s largest producers of the narcotic. Colombian police said they’ve seized more than 86 tons in all so far this year.
Felicitaciones @PoliciaColombia: operativo en Turbo incautó la mayor cantidad de droga en la historia. Golpe contundente a criminales.
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) May 15, 2016
Seizures of that size are rare but not unprecedented on a global scale. In March 2007, the U.S. Coast Guard seized nearly 20 tons of cocaine found on a cargo ship, the “Gatun,” headed from the Panama Canal to the Mexican port of Topolobampo.
Six years earlier, the Coast Guard found 13 tons of the drug aboard a Belize-flagged fishing boat that aroused suspicion while off the Mexican coast because it had no working fishing equipment and few fish.