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Honduras Seizes Record 15 Tons of Drugs in Underground Hideout

Honduran soldiers confiscated a record 15 tons of illegal narcotics hidden underground as the Central American nation becomes the biggest destination for South American drug flights.

The drugs, likely cocaine or methamphetamines, were found yesterday by a counter-narcotics team investigating a hidden underground storage room on a farm in the country’s northern Yoro region, said Melvin Duarte, a spokesman for the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the capital, Tegucigalpa.

“Investigators have said that much of the drugs came in various shipments out of Venezuela,” Duarte said. The narcotics are being tested today by a toxicology lab, he said. The total haul may have a street value of $450 million, newspaper La Prensa reported.

Honduras, which has one of the highest per capita murder rates in the world, is a landing spot for an estimated 79 percent of cocaine-smuggling flights departing South America, according to a March report by the U.S. State Department.

The U.S. military and Drug Enforcement Administration have been assisting the Honduran government to reduce drug- trafficking through programs including the Central American Regional Security Initiative, which began in 2008. The U.S. did not assist in the operation yesterday, Duarte said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Williams in San Jose, Costa Rica at awilliams111@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net

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