Sierra Leone police seize 600kg of cocaine

Police in Sierra Leone said on Monday they had arrested seven foreigners, mostly from Latin America, and a number of Sierra Leoneans after seizing a record 600kg of cocaine at Lungi International Airport.

The seizure is a record for Sierra Leone and one of the biggest drugs hauls on West African soil this year.

According to recent United Nations reports, Sierra Leone is a transit point for illegal drugs destined for Europe.

Police Assistant Inspector General Francis Munu said a small white aircraft with a fake Red Cross emblem landed “without authorisation early Sunday and the two-man crew left the northern apron of the airport in a jeep”.

The plane came from Venezuela, the police said.

“When police searched the aircraft, some 600kg of cocaine were discovered along with gallons of fuel and several AK-47 and AK-48 rifles with 339 rounds of cartridges,” he said.

After the find, police arrested seven foreign nationals—three Colombians, two Mexicans, a Venezuelan national and a US citizen—in a car about 9km from the airport, he added.

An unspecified number of Sierra Leoneans were also arrested, including several airport and airport police officials.—Sapa-AFP

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