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Argentina nabs half-ton of Africa-bound cocaine

Saturday, July 21, 2012    

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentine customs police say drug-sniffing dogs found a half-ton of cocaine in machinery bound for Africa.

They say the cocaine was tightly packed into 490 brightly coloured bricks and stuffed into heavy dredging equipment that was being flown from the international airport in Buenos Aires to an oil company in Lagos, Nigeria.

But something smelled funny, and not just to Tota and Gala, the agency's drug-sniffing dogs.

Customs Director-General Maria Siomara Ayeran said yesterday that the company in Africa doesn't exist, and the exporter was under such suspicion that all its shipments are exhaustively searched. Once the dogs marked the spot, she said officers opened up the machine and found 536 kilos of pure cocaine inside thick walls of lead and steel, worth nearly US$25 million in Europe.

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