A small ghost boat washed up on the shores of the Marshall Islands last week carrying no passengers except nearly 1,500 pounds of cocaine. The 18-feet-long fiberglass boat was discovered on a beach at Ailuk Atoll filled only with about $80 million worth of the narcotics.
The remote coral island, located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, is home to only about 400 people, and a resident reportedly discovered the boat last week, Radio New Zealand reported. Residents tried to move the boat onto the beach themselves but it was too heavy, so they looked inside a large compartment underneath the deck of the boat.
That’s when they discovered the cocaine, packaged neatly into 649 1-kilogram bricks.
Residents notified authorities and the drugs were brought back to the capital of Majuro, located on a separate island, where Marshall Islands authorities said they destroyed the drugs by burning them in the incinerator.
Authorities believe the boat may have been at sea for a year or two, and most likely drifted over from South or Central America, CNN reported.
This isn’t the first time the Marshall Islands became an unintended recipient of a large drug package – islands located in the Pacific Ocean often intercept drugs as many of them are located along a major international drug trafficking route.