CAIRO: Egypt’s authorities have seized more than 18 million narcotic pills hidden in three containers in the port of Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea.
The Ministry of Interior said the shipment, weighing 34 tons, was onboard a ship that docked in the port in the north of the country on a transit trip.
The security director of the Alexandria seaport had received a tip-off about the docking of a ship carrying containers with drugs.
In addition to the drugs, officials seized money, four laptops, a satellite tracking device, and 10 mobile phones.
The documents for the containers described the shipment as tablets of calcium carbonate meant for a foreign company.
The drugs are known to have a negative mental and physical impact on users.
Security officers arrested the eight-member crew.
The ministry estimates the drugs to be worth over $59.8 million.
Last week, customs officials foiled an attempt to smuggle narcotic pills into Egypt at Cairo International Airport. The pills were hidden in a milk container in a passenger’s luggage from Qatar.
In April, the customs authorities at the airport arrested an Egyptian passenger with 1,220 capsules of the opioid, Tramadol, which he had hidden in a food package.