Local August 19, 2011 | 7:45 am

Italy agents seize one ton of cocaine sent from Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo.- Italy authorities seized one ton of cocaine in the port of La Spezia sent from Dominican Republic by the same criminal network in the case of the 419 kilos seized at East Haina Port two weeks ago.

The drug was shipped on a boat that weighed anchor from Caucedo Multimodal Port hidden behind a false wall of a container loaded with tiles, and which the authorities say came from Colombia before being sent to Europe.

Dominican, U.S. and Italian antinarcotics agencies were reportedly monitoring the group of traffickers and when the drug was about to be shipped to Europe, local agents placed a satellite device in the container to track it to its final destination.

The boat made a stop in Freeport, Bahamas, then headed to Barcelona, then to the Italian ports of Giogia, Tauro, Naples and finally La Spezia, around 100 km from Genoa, where five people were arrested when they went to retrieve the cargo.

Italy customs agents seized the container, removed the tiles and found the drug behind a false wall, within space of around three feet packed with bricks of cocaine.

The packages of cocaine had several marks, including one with the form of a scorpion, anda its estimated street value is 300 million euros (around US$423 million).

Italian authorities said they had the information on the narcotics more than one month ago, but waited until it reached its destination, a warehouse near Massa Carrara, in the Tuscan coast. They added that the drug was trafficked by one of the structures of the cartel Valle del Norte. , and arrested three Italians, a Spaniard and a Colombian.

The National Drugs Control Agency said it was the same operation of the 419 kilos of cocaine seized two weeks ago in East Haina Port, on which five people were arrested, including Cesar Teófilo Soriano.

It was reported that the authorities decided to intercept the cocaine in Dominican territory, although its final destination was Spain’s port at Huelva and let it continue its course, which would’ve been Italy.

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