Italian police seize two tonnes of cocaine drifting in the water off the coast of Sicily.

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The drugs were allegedly abandoned with the intention of later retrieving them, according to Italian police. Image: EPA

One of the largest seizures of illegal drugs in Italy occurred off the coast of Sicily, where approximately two tonnes (2,000kg) of cocaine were discovered floating, according to authorities.

A total of approximately 1,600 drug bricks were discovered bundled in about 70 waterproof packages that were fastened together using fishing nets and had a tracking device attached to them.

The police estimated that the street value of the seized drugs was in excess of €400m ($440m).

Law enforcement officials suspect that the narcotics were jettisoned into the ocean by a cargo vessel with the intention of retrieving them at a later time.

According to the authorities, a navy reconnaissance aircraft detected the packages during a surveillance operation.

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