Boat filled with $55M in cocaine haul washes ashore in Marshall Islands
An abandoned boat holding a massive haul of cocaine has washed up on a reef in the Marshall Islands. Cops say it’s the largest shipment of cocaine that has ever been found in the nation, and it may have been drifting in the Pacific Ocean for years, according to Agence France-Presse.
The 18-foot fiberglass vessel was found to be carrying nearly 650 kilos of the narcotic, which could be worth $55 million dollars on US streets, according to price estimates from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Attorney general Richard Hickson told AFP the boat likely came from Central or South America.“It could have been drifting for a year or two, ” Hickson said. Most of the drugs were destroyed Tuesday, except for two kilos that were sent to the US Drug Enforcement Agency for inspection.
It’s not uncommon for stashes of drugs to wash up along the Marshall Islands’ shores, but officials told the wire service they’ve never seen such a large shipment.
A study by University of Hawaii researchers found that a majority of drift patterns from the western Mexican coast eventually led to the island nation centered between Hawaii and Australia.
Police have speculated that smugglers may lose their contraband in bad weather or choose to abandon their hauls if they are in danger of getting caught.