KINGSTON—Ongoing police investigations have seen the value of a major cocaine bust on Saturday ballooning to over $12 billion.
The police have now said that the massive seizure made at the Kingston Freeport Terminal on Saturday morning totalled over 1,500 kilogrammes with an estimated street value of approximately US$80 million (over $12 billion).
Preliminary police investigations had estimated the drugs to weigh over 1,200 kilogrammes with a value of between approximately $7 billion and $9 billion.
A reliable police source told the Jamaica Observer that the contraband, which was found concealed among the cargo of a vessel which arrived from Colombia on Friday, represents “one of the largest cocaine busts in Jamaica.”
“The drugs were found in 50 duffel bags…following a search of over 30 containers,” the police source said.
The source said the search, which began about 10 am on Friday, was completed Saturday afternoon. It is part of a joint operation among the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Narcotics Division, the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA).
“The search has concluded but the police are still processing the scene,” the source said.
According to a JCF media release, representatives of the police and Jamaica Customs have indicated that the operation on the port will continue for an extended period to ensure the integrity of items arriving at the port.
This latest find is a few kilogrammes less than the 1,589 kilogrammes of drugs uncovered in the country in August 2002.
Up to press time, police say no one had been arrested in connection with the find.
In September last year, approximately 1,100 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of US$25 million (J$3.7 billion) was found in ten large travel bags at the Ian Fleming International Airport in St Mary. (Jamaica Observer)