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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 March 2006, 01:38 GMT
Colombia makes $540m cocaine haul
The Colombian authorities have seized a shipment of cocaine with a street value of $540m (300m) on board a ship in the Caribbean port of Cartagena.

They found the cocaine, weighing 2.7 tons (2,700kg), in a disinfectant container during a routine inspection.

The police said the Italian-registered vessel was bound for Mexico.

Since January, three tons of cocaine have been seized in Cartagena, 1,100km (685 miles) north of the capital Bogota, police said.

It also comes less than a year after authorities seized 15 tons of cocaine valued at $3bn, in what was described as the single largest drugs haul ever.

The cocaine was thought to belong to the main right-wing paramilitary group, the AUC.

Colombian police estimate paramilitary groups control as much as 40% of the country's illegal drugs trade.

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