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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 July, 2004, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
'Cocaine ship' seized in Togo
Togolese tugboat (l) being intercepted by French warship (r)
The Pitea (l) was towed to the Togo capital, Lome
A ship allegedly carrying more than two tons of cocaine has been seized off the coast of Ghana, French and Togolese official say.

The Togolese tugboat Pitea was intercepted by a French warship and the eight crew have been arrested.

The drugs, with a street value of at least $50m, allegedly came from Venezuela and was destined for Europe.

South American drugs are increasingly coming via West Africa because of a crackdown in the US, officials say.

In January, cocaine with a street value of some $140m was seized in neighbouring Ghana.

The Pitea was boarded in a joint operation by French and Togolese officials, based on Spanish intelligence.

It was towed to Togo's capital, Lome.

One north American, one Ukrainian and six Venezuelans were arrested, Togolese officials say.




SEE ALSO:
Row over Ghana cocaine suspects
05 Feb 04  |  Africa
Four held after 80m drugs seized
08 Jan 04  |  Africa
Country profile: Togo
16 Jan 04  |  Country profiles


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