Venezuela seizes 20 tons of liquid cocaine


A man strains liquid cocaine base into a bucket June 27, 2002 in the village of La Playa, Colombia.


Carlos Villalon

Venezuelan authorities seized 20 tons of liquid cocaine aboard a ship headed for Mexico.

The drugs were found as the ship was preparing to leave from a port in the northwestern state of Zulia, according to EFE. An inspection of the ship led to tests that detected the presence of liquid cocaine in four of the containers, which were going to Veracruz, Mexico.

"We are now ... analyzing the percentage of purity in each of the containers and the quantity of liquid cocaine they were trying to take to Mexico," Interior Minister Tareck el Aissami said, describing the seizure as one of the largest in Venezuelan history.

More from GlobalPost: Mexico Zetas drug cartel accused of laundering money through US horse racing operation

EFE also reported that three people were arrested during the search, including one Colombian national, and that authorities are continuing with "other searches" in connection with the case.

Veracruz has become a battleground for rival drug cartels Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel, who are fighting to take control of the market, according to Bernama.

GlobalPost recently reported on the accusation that the Zetas have been laundering drug money through a US horse racing operation. Seven members of the cartel were arrested during raids earlier this month on stables in New Mexico and a horse ranch in Oklahoma. Another seven members were named in an indictment, but were not arrested.