San Juan (Puerto Rico): An SUV has been stopped in Puerto Rico with a load of cocaine valued by federal agents at USD 16 million dollars, a spokesman for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said on Friday.
Local police stopped the 2004 Ford Expedition on a toll road near the central town of Caguas for a traffic violation, and the driver pull over, said spokesman Ivan Ortiz. Then the driver took off running into the surrounding woods.
The officers quickly discovered why: Inside the SUV, they found bales of cocaine totaling 700 kilograms (1,543 pounds) and called in federal agents.
Ortiz said the driver was never caught and no arrests have been made. Authorities don`t know the source or the destination of the drugs. The US Island territory has become a major trans-shipment point for South American cocaine bound for the mainland.
Seizures the size of that on Wednesday have become fairly common in the ocean off Puerto Rico sea but are unusual for a stopped vehicle on the island.
Separately, Immigration and Customs agents found nearly USD 600,000 in cash in an apparently abandoned vehicle in Carolina, one of the cities that make up the San Juan metropolitan area. No arrests were made but authorities suspect the money is connected to drugs, the spokesman said.