Police in the Marshall Islands have found precious cargo, drugs in an abandoned boat that washed up ashore.
The vessel drifted across the Pacific Ocean from Latin America, spending probably months in the rough seas.
Authorities found 649 kilogram of cocaine that’s estimated to have a street value of USD $80 million.
Police said the drugs were incinerated, apart from two packets, which have been sent to the US Drug Enforcement Administration for testing.
The 5.5 metre-long boat was found by a local resident on Ailuk atoll. Locals tried to move the vessel but were unable to do so as it was too heavy.
Upon further investigation, they discovered the packets of drugs in a hidden compartment inside the boat.
Marshall Islands Attorney General Richard Hickson said the boat could have been drifting for more than a year and was most likely from Central or South America.
Pacific Ocean currents often push debris from there to the Marshall Islands, and drug finds are not uncommon.
Most of the time, the drugs are sold by locals rather than reported to the authorities. Authorities in the Marshall Islands say this has fueled a drug problem and hospitals have reported a rise in patients with complications relating to the consumption of crack cocaine.
Mr Hickson praised locals for notifying authorities about the most recent haul.
With a population of 55,000 people, the Marshall Islands consists of two chains of coral atolls together with more than 1,000 islets, just north of the Equator in the Pacific.