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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Two charged after US Coast Guard makes $20m cocaine sailboat discovery

Federal prosecutors in Boston say two men face drug charges after the Coast Guard allegedly found them transporting about $20m in cocaine on a sailboat in international waters about 400 nautical miles east of the US.

The US attorney's office said 27-year-old Hicham Ramzi Nahra of Canada and 49-year-old Benjamin Celma-Sedo of Spain were charged in a criminal complaint on Friday, with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Prosecutors say the men had about 621kg on the boat Callisto, bound for Montreal. It was not immediately known if the men have attorneys.

The Coast Guard cutter Dependable found the 49ft boat, carrying the name Elegrance and flying a Canadian flag, on Monday. Canadian authorities then discovered was not a Canadian vessel. Prosecutors say it was identified as Callisto, whose last port of call was Venezuela.

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