KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine customs officers, security service employees and border guards have seized 582 kilograms (1,283 lbs) of cocaine, the biggest haul ever in the country.
The cocaine was hidden among scrap metal pipes used for drilling, the Kiev-based State Customs Service said in an e- mailed statement today.
Bohdan Panas, the spokesman of Ukraine’s southern customs, wasn’t available on his office phone when called today to clarify the date of the seizure.
The scrap metal was being transported to Ukraine from Bolivia, which led custom officials to hold an additional inspection.
An X-ray didn’t show the narcotics, which were found after a pipe with two additional layers inside was sliced, according to the statement.
Last week, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych called on law enforcement bodies to take “drastic measures” to tackle illegal drugs circulation.
He gave officials from prosecution and the health ministry two months to propose legal changes to protect the country from being “ruined” by drug sales.
Another 152 kilograms (335 lbs) of the drug was detained in Odessa on June 30, according to the statement.