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Brazil seizes 1.3 tonnes of cocaine on Italian ship reportedly attacked by pirates

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  Brazil seizes 1.3 tonnes of cocaine on Italian ship reportedly attacked by pirates
File photo: Joe Raedle/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP.
09:19 CEST+02:00
Brazilian authorities said on Monday August 13th that they seized 1.32 metric tonnes (2,910 pounds) of cocaine aboard an Italian-flagged ship in Brazil's main port of Santos, near Sao Paulo.

"The drugs were divided into 1,202 tablets distributed in 41 sacks" in two containers on the Grande Francia ship, which had arrived from Argentina, the customs department said.

According to G1 news site, the ship was attacked by pirates on Sunday. However it was unclear whether the incident was connected to the drugs discovery.

According to O Globo site, more than 1,322 kilograms of cocaine were seized, the second large drugs bust at the port in a week, hidden in 41 sacks in two shipping containers. Four armed men boarded the boat 15-kilometres off the coastline for two hours on the morning of Sunday August 12th, according to the Brazilian media outlet's report, leading to speculation that the ship had been targeted by pirates. 

The federal police in Santos said that a pirate incident had occurred but targeting a different vessel.

"We are working on the case," the police said in a statement. The customs service said that so far this year it has intercepted 13,518 kilos of drugs (29,802 pounds) in 27 operations at Santos port, the biggest in Latin America. This is more than the total seized in 2017.

READ MORE: Alleged drug trafficker arrested in Mexico over disappearance of three Italians

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