CARACAS, June 27 (BERNAMA- NNN-XINHUA) -- Venezuela's National Guard Tuesday seized 20 tonnes of "chemical substances," presumed to be liquid cocaine, that had been packed for shipment from the port city of Maracaibo to Mexico's Gulf coast state of Veracruz, a top official said.
Interior and Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami described the cache as "one of the largest seizures ever made in the history of our country."
In a statement released by the ministry, El Aissami said the National Guard operation early Tuesday uncovered the illicit material hidden in four containers and detained three suspected smugglers, including a Colombian national.
After the containers were seized, "we found out they were headed for Mexico, specifically Veracruz state," said El Aissami.
Veracruz has increasingly become the battleground for rival drug cartels Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel, as they fight for control of the market, according to Mexican authorities.
El Aissami said the cache had been submitted to a lab to determine its purity and the ministry was awaiting the results.
The anti-drug operations in Maracaibo are continuing, he added.