Eleven Russian sailors were detained at the port in Praia, the capital of Cape Verde. The police seized 9.5 tons of cocaine from the ship on which the Russians worked, reports Reuters.
The ship was heading to Morocco from South America and stopped at the port after the death of a crew member.
After arriving at the port, the ship immediately went through a search, as the police received operational information about the crew’s possible involvement in drug smuggling.
Cape Verde is an island state located off the west coast of Africa. The authorities are fighting gangs carrying Latin American cocaine to Europe through Africa.
Photos provided by the police on Friday showed dozens of brick-shaped packages wrapped in plastic and cloth sacks at the port.
The police said they were alerted by the Maritime Analysis and Operation Center, a platform coordinating the anti-drug trafficking actions of seven EU states that suspected the ship of transporting illicit substances.
The use of hard substances like cocaine, heroine and amphetamines is rising in West Africa, where countries that once served primarily as transit points for trade between South America and Europe are now active consumer markets.
Earlier, eight seamen from Russia have been banned from entering the Ukrainian territory because of visiting the occupied Crimea illegally. The State Border Guard reported that on Thursday afternoon.
On January 23, Odesa border guard unit checked the incoming vessel that came from Spain. There were 13 Russian nationals aboard. It appeared that last year, eight of them illegally visited the annexed Crimea. The State Border Guard decided to ban them from visiting Ukraine for three consecutive years.
The detainees were brought to responsibility for violating the border crossing procedure; they are due to pay fine of USD 489.67.