An officer, a non-commissioned officer and three enlisted men were arrested along with four civilians when they were stopped at a checkpoint on a highway in northwestern Colombia while transporting 603 kilos of cocaine, the army's 4th Brigade said.

The arrests and seizure were made thanks to "intelligence and counterintelligence work" on the highway that links Medellin, the capital of the northwestern province of Antioquia, to the port city of Turbo, the army said.

The suspects were detained in Mutata, a city in Antioquia, the army said.

The soldiers, who belonged to the Medellin-based 4th Brigade, and the four civilians were traveling in a truck that was carrying the cocaine hidden inside boxes of cotton.

The suspects, the truck and the cocaine were turned over to the appropriate authorities for prosecution, the army said.

The suspects, who face drug charges, were not identified. EFE