Brazilian authorities seized 3.7 tons of cocaine and arrested 23 people at the port of Santos, near Sao Paulo, in what federal police said was among the country’s biggest drug busts.
Military police said the suspects were part of an international group intending to export cocaine to Europe, Cuba and Africa. The drugs were placed in luggage and backpacks, which were inserted in shipping containers, without the knowledge of cargo owners or ship owners.
Also seized were hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, ten vehicles, a boat, 19 handguns and two rifles, the newspaper Rio Times reported Tuesday.
The gangs involved have been a target, since 2013, of investigations called Hulk and overseas.
The Hulk investigation focused on drugs brought from Bolivia to the port of Santos; the Overseas operation concentrated on the insertion of drugs into containers before they left Brazil.
Some participation by port and federal employees is suspected, the newspaper said.