Coastguard seizes half a tonne of cocaine floating off Algeria coast

The Algerian coastguard has seized almost half a tonne of cocaine after fishers alerted authorities to “suspicious” items floating off the north-west coast.

The coastguard fished out 490kg (1,080 pounds) of cocaine split up into 442 packages from the water six nautical miles (11 kilometres) off Oran’s Cap Carbon on Saturday evening, a defence ministry statement said on Monday.

An investigation is under way.

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

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