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Police seize 30 metric tons of drugs in Central America, Caribbean

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - About 30 metric tons of cocaine, heroin and marijuana with a street value of $822 million was seized in Central America and the Caribbean last month in one of the biggest international drug hauls, pan-European police force Europol said.

It said Operation Lionfish, which targeted the maritime trafficking of drugs and illicit firearms by organized crime groups across Central America and the Caribbean, yielded the arrest of 142 people and seizure of 15 vessels as well as guns, cash, and eight metric tons of chemical precursors.

The international operation was carried out from May 27 to June 10, a Europol spokesman said, and an investigation into the source of the drugs was under way. No details were released of the nationalities of those arrested.

More than 30 countries and territories were involved in the operation, led by Interpol and supported by Europol.

"The operation was coordinated in response to growing evidence of the organized crime in the trafficking of drugs and firearms in the Central America and Caribbean regions due to its strategic location," Europol said in a statement.

(Reporting by Ivana Sekularac; editing by Mark Heinrich)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130703/police-seize-30-metric-tons-drugs-central-america-caribbean