A ‘ghost boat’ washed up on a tiny Pacific island with $80 million worth of cocaine hidden below deck

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  • A 'ghost boat' carrying $80 million worth of cocaine washed up on a beach in the Marshall Islands.
  • Residents discovered hundreds of bricks of cocaine after attempting to lift the suspiciously heavy boat.
  • The drugs weighed 1,430 pounds. Police believe this is the largest drug haul ever on the island, according to AFP.
  • The island's top lawyer thinks the boat could have been drifting at sea for "a year or two," he told CBS News.
  • The police incinerated the majority of the drugs, keeping a small amount for lab testing.
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A ghost boat carrying 1,430 pounds of cocaine has washed up on the remote Marshall Islands.

Islanders discovered the drugs, valued at $80 million, after trying to lift the 18-foot fiberglass vessel onto the beach.

Struggling to raise the abandoned boat, Ailuk residents tried to figure out why it was so heavy. It was then that they found a hidden compartment, according to Radio New Zealand.

Under the boat's deck, hundreds of bricks of cocaine – stamped with the letters 'KW' – were stored.

Locals from Ailuk Atoll, home to only 400 people, immediately notified the police.

The island's police department believes this is the largest-ever cocaine haul found there, according to AFP. Prior to this, the largest amount of cocaine to wash up on the shores of the Marshall Island weighed 88 pounds, authorities told Radio New Zealand.

The drugs were transported back to the Marshall Islands' capital – Majuro – and were then incinerated, according to Sky News. Two bricks were saved for the US Drug Enforcement agency to analyze in a laboratory, authorities told the broadcaster.

The cocaine-laden ghost boat's origins are currently unknown. But, according to Attorney General Richard Hickson, it might have come from Central or South America.

"It could have been drifting for a year or two," Hickson told CBS News.

Shipments of drugs often wash up on the beaches of Pacific islands because of their location and proximity to Australia. "Draw a direct line between Bogota and Canberra and it goes straight through the islands," criminal law professor Dr. Andreas Schloenhardt told The Guardian.

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