Marines stand guard over Wednesday's cocaine seizure. Marines stand guard over Wednesday's cocaine seizure.

Armed forces seize 1.6 tonnes of cocaine after boat chase off Michoacán

Three alleged traffickers were arrested, navy officials said

Mexican marines have seized more than a tonne of cocaine and hundreds of liters of fuel from a boat discovered off the coast of Michoacán, the navy announced on Wednesday.

After a high-speed chase at sea, the marines forced the alleged traffickers back toward land near the beach-side community of Barras de Nexpa, 60 kilometers west of Lázaro Cárdenas. The navy seized 1.6 tonnes of cocaine and 432 liters of fuel and arrested three people, it said in a press release.

After navy intelligence identified that a drug shipment was likely to pass through the area, a maritime patrol plane spotted a suspicious speedboat with three outboard motors. Two marine units were then dispatched to intercept the shipment, navy officials said.

“The crew of the suspicious vessel, caught unawares, increased their speed and upon arriving at the beach they fled …”

Navy personnel seized the vessel’s cargo and later the same day captured another vessel.

A similarly sized shipment of cocaine was seized in Mexico City in late July, the largest bust in the city’s history. The 1.68-tonne shipment had an estimated worth of 400 million pesos (US $19.6 million) but could have been sold for double that price if it had reached the United States.

With reports from Reforma

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