The research and survey vessel Remus left the Canary Islands bound for Egypt and Turkey, but police surveillance showed it had turned off its position transmitter near the coast of North Africa, raising investigators’ suspicions, Reuters reported.

With the permission of Panamanian authorities, Italian finance police seized the vessel in international waters on 31 July and escorted it to Palermo. There the fuel tanks were drained and the hash was discovered wrapped in sealed brown bags.

The Mediterranean Sea again is confirmed to be one of the world’s largest arteries for illegal trafficking, Italian police statement was cited by Reuters.

The North African hashish was probably heading for the European market, the police also informed.