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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 November, 2004, 13:45 GMT
Peru drugs hidden in giant squid
Police display the drugs haul in Lima
Peru is the world's second largest producer of cocaine
Police in Peru have seized about 700kg of cocaine hidden in frozen giant squid bound for Mexico and the US.

The drugs - worth about $17.5m - were sealed in several layers of plastic and other wrapping material and covered in pepper to divert sniffer dogs.

Police arrested seven people in the operation which they began in August.

Peru is the world's second-biggest cocaine-producing nation after Colombia. Many of the drugs are sent to Mexico on their way to the US.

Police seized the drugs hidden in a container of 25 tons of giant squid about to leave Paita (Piura) for Mexico.

Interior Minister Javier Reategui said that police operations had uncovered a drug-trafficking organisation using a fish-exporting company.

Last year, police arrested a man and confiscated more than 180kg of cocaine at the airport of the capital, Lima.

A year earlier in a massive haul, they seized 1.76 tons of cocaine with a street value of more than $70m bound for the US and Europe via Mexico.

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