The Colombian Navy said Tuesday it had seized 447 kilos of cocaine 30 miles off the country’s Caribbean coastline.
The drugs were seized from a fishing boat off the coast of the country’s most northern province, La Guajira.
The cocaine was found aboard la “Reina 1”, a fishing boat carrying the Colombian flag, as it made its way from Barranquilla along the coast toward the Caribbean Sea.
The Navy stated that it was a coordinated operation with help from the Puerto de Bolivar Coast Guard and the Technical Investigation Team from the Prosecutor General’s Office.
Five crew members were arrested and, along with the seized shipment, taken to the city of Riohacha, where they will be prosecuted.
Preliminary investigation suggests the shipment belonged to the “Los Urabeños,” according to newspaper El Espectador.
After finding the packages of cocaine marked with cartoon figures, cloves, and car brands, authorities believe the Urabeños oversaw the shipment.
The Urabeños are a neo-paramilitary group from northern Colombia that grew from the demobilization of the AUC between 2003 and 2006 and has violently asserted control of the Caribbean coastal region.
During the demobilization process mid-level commanders and fighters took over existing AUC operating structures.
If this shipment proves to belong to Los Urabeños, it will add to a list of large seizures the group has been linked to this year.
Radio Santa Fe estimated that the 447-kilo seizure could mean a $5.3 million loss for the organization.