U.S. authorities seized about 18.5 tons of cocaine with a avenue worth of $500 million within the jap Pacific Ocean, the U.S. Coast Guard mentioned on Friday.

The cocaine was taken off the Coast Guard cutter James within the Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday after it was confiscated from 15 drug smuggling vessels within the worldwide waters, the Coast Guard mentioned.

A number of U.S. Coast Guard cutters helped seize the medicine of Mexico, Central and South America, it mentioned.

Some 49 suspects had been additionally arrested and will likely be prosecuted in southern Florida, the Miami Herald reported.

Cocaine stays some of the in style unlawful medicine in the USA, the place a lot of the world’s cocaine is consumed, based on federal officers.

“There are troubling early indicators that cocaine use and availability is on the rise in the USA for the primary time in almost a decade,” the U.S. State Division mentioned in a worldwide narcotics commerce report in 2017.

Potential international cocaine output reached 1,410 tons in 2016, the very best degree ever estimated, the United Nations mentioned in a report on medicine and crime in 2018.

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