, PANAMA CITY, Dec 11 – Panamanian police uncovered 2.4 tonnes of cocaine aboard two Colombian-registered speed boats in the largest single drug seizure in the country so far this year, officials said Thursday.
The drugs, believed to have been bound for North Africa, were in bags emblazoned with drawings of the cartoon characters Tom and Jerry.
The find near Colon, a major sea port on Panama\’s Caribbean coast, is "the largest seizure of the year," said prosecutor Martin Quijada, urging Panamanians to provide information to government agencies to help fight the drug trade.
Panama has seized over 35 tonnes of cocaine so far this year, according to official figures.
The country is a major transit point for cocaine from South America to the United States and — by way of West Africa — to Europe.
Also on Thursday, Colombian authorities said they had seized 1.6 tonnes of cocaine on the Pacific coast.
Colombia is the world\’s largest cocaine producer, manufacturing an estimated 430 tonnes in 2008, around half of the world\’s production, according to United Nations figures.