Police in Colombia’s Caribbean port city of Cartagena say they have seized their largest shipment of cocaine in six years and have linked the shipment to a neo-paramilitary group.
Police Commissioner Rodolfo Palomino told local media on Thursday the seven tons of cocaine is estimated to be worth $242 million in European drug markets.
FACTSHEET: Los Urabeños
Palomino said there were many indications that the drug shipment could belong to ‘Los Urabenos’ as it shared many attributes of a shipment of 2 tons of cocaine seized 15 days ago in the Pacific port city of Buenaventura in western Colombia.
“The drug traffickers marked the drug packages with the number 800 and the logo of a recognized multinational car brand,” he said.
Both are signatures used by Los Urabenos, a neo-paramilitary group that has violently taken control of the country’s Caribbean coast following the demobilization of the paramilitary umbrella group AUC.
The illicit load was supposed to leave the Caribbean seaport of Cartagena, destined for Rotterdam, Netherlands.
The Narcotics Division said that the drug traffickers tried to disguise the 6910 packages of cocaine by placing them in containers alongside pineapple in syrup.
According to Colombia’s El Pais newspaper, the packages were hidden in 20 blocks, among 456 cases of the jars of pineapple.
Palomino said that the Narcotics Division are currently in the process of determining who is responsible.
“The company that initiated the illegal export are now under investigation,” he said.
According to El Espectador, the police have recovered over 13 tons of cocaine this year from the ports of Santa Marta, Buenaventura, Cartagena and Barranquilla.