TEGUCIGALPA – A Honduran-flagged ship carrying 3.5 tons of cocaine was intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard in international waters, Honduran Security Secretariat spokesman Leonel Sauceda said.
The vessel was intercepted on Tuesday afternoon off the coast of the eastern Honduran province of Gracias a Dios, on the border with Nicaragua, in a joint operation with local authorities.
Five unidentified Hondurans were arrested in the operation, Sauceda said, adding that the suspects may be tried in either Honduras or the United States.
The seizure was the biggest in the past six years in the Central American country, Sauceda said.
Honduran police seized 473 kilos of cocaine on July 27 aboard a twin-engine plane that apparently arrived from Venezuela and was abandoned in Brus Laguna, a district in Gracias a Dios.
Honduras is a transit country for South American drug traffickers, who frequently use small planes to smuggle contraband.
Some of the planes are intercepted, while others land and are later burned to destroy the evidence, officials said.
More than 2.2 tons, not including the latest seizure, of cocaine had been seized in Honduras this year, officials said.