Half ton of cocaine found floating off Algeria coast: ministry

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The Algerian coastguard has seized almost half a ton of cocaine after fishermen alerted authorities to "suspicious" items floating off the northwest coast, a defence ministry statement said on Monday.

The coastguard fished out 490kg of cocaine split up into 442 packages from the water six nautical miles (11km) off Oran's Cap Carbon on Saturday evening, the ministry said.

An investigation is underway.

The cocaine seizure is the largest in the North African country since authorities found some 700kg of the drug on a boat transporting meat from Brazil in 2018.

The country's anti-drug office said Friday that more than 25 tons of cannabis resin had been seized in the first four months of this year.

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