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German Customs Intercepts 1,500 Pounds Of Cocaine Intended For Curacao

WILLEMSTAD — Customs officials in the German port of Hamburg say they have seized 717 kilograms (1,580 pounds) of cocaine, which they estimate would have produced drugs with a street value of 145 million euros ($156 million).

The head of the Hamburg customs investigation office, Rene Matschke, said Friday that the cocaine — the largest single seizure of the drug in Germany to date — had a very high degree of purity, news agency dpa reported.

It was seized on Jan. 18 after it was found in a shipping container from the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao.

Matschke said that an international gang was behind the cocaine shipment and that there was a hostage-taking linked to the drugs in the Netherlands on Monday.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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