Brazil arrests 23 after huge cocaine bust

Brazil arrests 23 after huge cocaine bust
File photo cocaine seized.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Brazilian police on Monday said they had impounded a 3.7-ton haul of cocaine destined for Europe, Africa and Cuba at the Santos port in southeastern Sao Paulo state.

Police said they made 23 arrests after uncovering the cocaine haul in an operation to smash a trafficking gang using containers to transport the drug from Latin America's largest port.

Officers also uncovered 230,000 euros in cash and impounded a stash of small arms while issuing 46 arrest warrants as they stepped up investigations as part of operations begun in 2013.

Police said the traffickers used a network of private employees working in the port to help them stash the drugs in backpacks unbeknown to officials managing loading operations at Santos docks.

Police commissioner Reinaldo Sperandio told a news conference that no port official was linked to the trafficking operation.

Operation Hulk was following the movements of traffickers from Sao Paulo who bought their drugs in Bolivia and sent them to Brazil via Paraguay and then on to Europe.

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