Turtle With $53 Million Worth of Cocaine Was Found By The US Coast In The Eastern Pacific
In an unexpected find, the US Coast Guard discovered a turtle carrying over 53 million in worth of cocaine on board while patrolling the Eastern Pacific Ocean. It’s believed to be one of the biggest drug hauls made at sea and may lead to more similar finds in the future.
On April 27th, 2021, the US Coast Guard made a startling discovery—a sea turtle carrying $53 million worth of cocaine in its shell! Believed to be one of the biggest drug hauls made at sea, this find underscores the sophistication of ocean-borne drug smuggling operations and may usher in a new era of oceanic law enforcement. In addition to providing evidence for the illegal drug trade, the find may also reveal new insights into how these illicit operations are conducted.
The Coast Guard intercepted the sea turtle off the coast of Hawaii, and upon inspection discovered more than 1,000 lbs of drugs hidden within its shell. The animal had a transponder affixed to its neck—a device that allowed smugglers to monitor the turtle’s movements and track the shipment’s progress.
The US Coast Guard has since intensified their efforts to seek out this type of wildlife-based drug trafficking, as well as other sophisticated smuggling operations taking place in international waters.
Sea Turtles Trafficking Cocaine?
Yes, the US Coast Guard made a shocking discovery when they found this sea turtle carrying 53 million worth of cocaine. This discovery highlights how drug smugglers are taking advantage of sea life like turtles to smuggle illegal substances across the ocean with ease and impunity.
The implications of this find could usher in a new era of oceanic law enforcement to better target drug trafficking operations across the high seas.
On June 6th, US Coast Guard personnel made an unexpected discovery when upon inspection of a boat off the coast of Honduras, they found 53 packages with about $53 million worth of cocaine attached to a sea turtle. The packages were said to weigh around 39 kilograms and measured 160 centimeters in length.
While sea turtles have become far less common in areas such as the 1990s in Colombia due to drug smuggling activity, this stunning find shows that smugglers are once again taking advantage of this easy trafficking option.
Aside from highlighting one particular heat-seeking method being used by traffickers however, it also raises questions as to whether other creatures and animals may be utilized for this same purpose without detection going forward. Such activity has drawn attention from marine conservationists who consider these archaic animal trafficking operations both unethical and dangerous for marine life.
The Coast Guard is determined to look deeper into similar suspect behaviors on the high seas and will now increase its efforts to discover more hidden illicit activities across oceanic venues worldwide.
How are UN Drug Control Mechanisms Dealing With This Incredible Case?
The US Coast Guard’s case is groundbreaking, and UN drug control mechanisms are taking necessary steps to respond. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is collaborating with regional authorities in Latin America and the Caribbean to reinforce law enforcement operations as well as prevent further instances of animal trafficking.
Additionally, through the Global Maritime Crime Program, the UNODC is helping countries strengthen their maritime security systems in order to more effectively detect, investigate and prosecute paramilitary activity at sea.
In the wake of the incident, UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly called for a ‘multilateral and cohesive response’ to this type of illicit activity, saying: “ case represents a threat to the safety of communities in West Africa and beyond. It calls for swift action and regional collaboration to stem the tide against organized crime networks operating at sea.”
The UNODC is actively working with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to raise awareness about how criminal entities are exploiting international waters to their advantage, as well as developing strategies for better coordination between countries when it comes to combating illicit drug trafficking activities.
Is There a Larger Conspiracy at Work Here?
The sheer amount of cocaine found on the turtle has some law enforcement agents speculating that the animal was part of a larger co-ordinated operation to smuggle drugs. How exactly the contraband got tied to the turtle remains a mystery, but it’s an investigation that officials are taking seriously.
As they explore potential links between the ship and other smuggling activity, authorities are also making efforts to ensure similar incidents do not occur in the future.
While the link to organized drug smuggling still remains unclear, experts warn that the amount and type of drug found in this one incident indicates a larger problem. “This shipment certainly looks suspicious,” said Joe Evora, director of strategic intelligence at InSight Crime. “It’s more than likely organized criminals are behind this, as opposed to an individual or spontaneous act.”
Clearly authorities are taking the situation seriously and launching a full investigation into how such a large amount of cocaine got onto the turtle. The results could shed some light on just how deeply organized crime has infiltrated the global drug trade.
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