Drug enforcement officials have seized four tonnes of Colombian cocaine with a street value of $US100 million ($120 million) in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.
Seven people caught with the narcotics, which were destined for the United States, were arrested during the drugs bust last week and have been deported to the US to face trial, Liberia's defence minister Brownie Samukai said.
Brooks Robinson, from the US embassy in Monrovia, said the suspects were trying to establish cocaine smuggling routes from South America through the war-torn west African nation to the US.
They attempted to exploit connections with supposedly corrupt government officials who were in fact working in an undercover capacity, in close cooperation with the US Drug Enforcement Agency, he said.
In recent years, international narcotics traffickers have transported huge quantities of cocaine, worth billions of dollars, through several West African countries which have emerged as a key transiting point.
They have often sought to bribe high-level public officials with large cash payments and narcotics in order to ensure the safe passage and distribution of their cocaine shipments.
1st June 2010
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