Colombia seizes 5.5 tons of cocaine in the Caribbean Sea

Colombia seizes 5.5 tons of cocaine in the Caribbean Sea

The Colombian authorities reported on Friday the seizure of 5.5 tons of cocaine, the largest in the Caribbean Sea so far this year, at a time when the government is interested in showing results of greater interdiction within the framework of its new anti-drug policy.

The seizures were made this week in three operations against “go fast” type boats, usually used by drug traffickers who try to take drugs to the north of the continent. The interventions had the support of the authorities of Panama and the United States, according to the Colombian Navy in a statement.

Vice Admiral Hernando Mattos Dager, commander of the Caribbean Naval Force, indicated that this is the largest seizure of 2023 in the Caribbean Sea, which would affect the finances of illegal organizations by 184 million dollars, preventing them from reaching the market. black more than 13 million doses of cocaine.

The first operation was carried out 120 nautical miles northwest of the Gulf of Morrosquillo, located between the departments of Sucre and Córdoba, where a boat manned by four Colombians and one Panamanian was detected, who managed to flee and threw at least 77 sacks into the sea that inside they contained packages with 1,915 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride.

In the second operation, they identified a “go fast” type vessel 97 nautical miles northwest of the Gulf of Morrosquillo, which contained 2,198 kilograms of cocaine and was manned by four Colombians, who allegedly sought to take the narcotics to a port in Honduras.

In the last operation, 1,367 kilograms of cocaine were seized, which were thrown from a boat by the crew before fleeing the place to avoid being captured.

“This is the power of the interdiction that goes to the heart of the big businessmen of the mafia,” Colombian President Gustavo Petro said on Twitter, referring to the operations.

The day before, Petro asked the armed forces to increase from 1.6 tons of cocaine seized per day throughout the country – not only in the Caribbean Sea – to two tons per day in the next six months. In 2022, 671 tons of cocaine were seized in operations throughout the country, according to official data.

The increase in seizures is part of the new anti-narcotics strategy that Petro is implementingfor whom military and intelligence efforts should focus on large drug traffickers and the impact on their finances, including money laundering, thus reducing the “persecution” of small coca leaf growers, the raw material for cocaine.

Colombia reached a historic level of 204,000 hectares planted in 2021, according to the latest available report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

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Written by Editor TLN

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