The United States Coast Guard has seized cocaine worth $93 million in two separate operations according to wire reports on Thursday.On August 23 during a routine patrol a United States Customs and Border Protection aircraft spotted a speedboat carrying “suspicious packages” north of the Gulf of Uraba, on the Colombian coast, according to a US Coast Guard statement quoted by Spanish-language wire service EFE.
The aircraft warned two vessels of the United States Coast Guard who were in the vicinity which dispatched two helicopters to the area to locate the boat. Pilots of the helicopters witnessed the suspected smugglers dump several packages into the water. The Coast Guard was able to recover 32 bales that later tested positive for cocaine. Four suspects were taken into custody.
In the second operation, on August 28, off the coast of Panama, a patrol of the Coast Guard boarded a Panamanian-flagged freighter, carrying nearly a ton and a half of cocaine. Its eight crew members were arrested and will be prosecuted.
These two drug seizures are part of Operation Hammer, a strategy to combat drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific driven by the United States with the participation of governments in Central America and the Caribbean.
- Incautan cocaína valorada en 93 millones de dólares en costas de Colombia y Panamá (EFE via El Colombiano)