Title: drug seizures
Description: Big and spectacular seizures of drugs
moribundo - May 1, 2007 04:24 PM (GMT)
Colombia announces record cocaine seizure
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 1, 2007 | 5:21 AM ET
The Associated Press
Colombia's navy made the largest drug seizure in the nation's history when it uncovered between 20 and 25 tonnes of cocaine buried along the Pacific coast, the defence minister said Monday.
The cocaine, with a wholesale value of more than $500 million US, was found Sunday buried in 1,000 packages of 25 kilograms each near the coastal town of Pizarro, 400 kilometres west of Bogota, Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos told a news conference.
Colombia is the world's No. 1 cocaine producer.Colombia is the world's No. 1 cocaine producer.
Santos said the seizure was the result of eight months of undercover police work and he called it the "biggest in the history of Colombia."
The cocaine was buried near an estuary accessible only by sea, he said.
There were no arrests in the operation, but the drugs were believed to belong to Colombia's biggest drug trafficking organization, the Norte del Valle cartel, which operates near the area.
Colombia is the world's leading cocaine producer, producing annually more than 450 tonnes of cocaine, which accounts for 90 per cent of the drug consumed in the United States.
A las Farc y narcos del norte del Valle pertenecerían las más de 20 toneladas de coca incautadas
El mayor cargamento de droga incautado en la historia de Colombia estaba listo para salir en lanchas rápidas desde la costa Pacífica.
El pasado viernes en la mañana, una llamada que hablaba sobre un cargamento de cocaína sin precedentes, que estaba a punto de salir de una zona costera en el Pacífico, puso en alerta a los investigadores del DAS en Bogotá.
De inmediato, el director del organismo, Andrés Peñate, designó un grupo de inteligencia que en 24 horas logró conseguir las coordenadas del lugar y verificar que efectivamente había tal cargamento, en el municipio de Pizarro (Nariño).
"Se solicitó el apoyo de la Armada Nacional que en horas de la madrugada de ayer, en compañía de dos fiscales, se encontró con varias lanchas 'go fast' cargadas con mil bultos, que a su vez contenían cada uno 25 paquetes de cocaína pura, lo que sumaría unas 25 toneladas", señaló uno de los funcionarios del DAS que estuvo en la operación.
Este hallazgo, que es el cargamento más grande de droga que las autoridades colombianas han encontrado, solo se compara con el realizado en el 2005 por la Armada y la Policía en zona rural de Tumaco (Nariño), donde ubicaron 15,1 toneladas.
El otro gran decomiso fue el de los cargamentos del extinto capo del cartel de Medellín Pablo Escobar, en la llamada Tranquilandia en 1984, donde la Policía halló 13,8 toneladas de coca en los Llanos del Yarí (Meta y Caquetá).
Según la primeras informaciones sobre el golpe, suministradas por la Armada, la droga estaba embarcada en las lanchas, lista para zarpar hacia alta mar, donde sería recogida por un barco pesquero.
¿Quiénes son los dueños?
Sobre los propietarios del alijo, que en el mercado internacional tiene un valor superior a los 650 millones de dólares, el ministro de Defensa, Juan Manuel Santos, señaló que las primeras indagaciones revelan que pertenecería a una alianza entre los frentes de las Farc que delinquen en la zona y uno de los jefes del cartel del norte del Valle: Wílber Varela, alias 'Jabón'.
Al cierre de esta edición, los fiscales, el DAS y el grupo de la Armada que estuvo a cargo de la operación seguían con el conteo de los paquetes.
Según la Armada, en los últimos años, han caído cerca de 160 toneladas de cocaína en el Pacífico.
La disputa por la coca del Pacífico
Desde el 2003, la costa Pacífica, desde Tumaco (Nariño), hasta Buenaventura (Valle), se la han disputado 'paras', narcos y guerrilleros. Han buscado controlar el corredor de salida al mar más importante para los traficantes, que les permite 'coronar' cargamentos de droga a Centroamérica y de ahí a Estados Unidos y Europa.
A esto se suma el incremento en los cultivos de coca, que se trasladaron a la región ante la arremetida del Plan Colombia en el Putumayo, lo que generó desplazamiento de cultivadores, raspachines y matas, que hoy pueden llegan a 15.000 hectáreas.
Esta lucha de los grupos armados también ha dejado centenares de muertos y ofensivas militares en la frontera con Ecuador, uno de los mayores focos de cultivo.
Golpes en la costa
1. 2005, marzo 25. El submarino hallado en zona rural del municipio Salahonda (Nariño), con 10 toneladas de coca, tendría como destino E.U.
2. 2005, mayo 11. En el Río Mira, dieron el que se consideró el golpe más grande: 15,1 toneladas, avaluadas en 325 millones de dólares.
3. 2005, octubre 11. En Cabo Manglares (Nariño) la Armada decomisó 7,5 toneladas, avaluadas en 200 millones de dólares.
Dutch - May 2, 2007 11:49 AM (GMT)
Oops, little mistake -- it was "only" 13 tons instead 25
Cali, martes 2 de mayo de 2007
Cargamento era de 13,2 toneladas de coca
[Los 927 bultos con la droga fueron llevados en un buque a la base militar de Bahía Málaga, en el Pacífico, donde en las próximas horas serán quemados. Foto: Adonay Cárdenas I El País]
Aunque inicialmente se habló de 25 toneladas, luego de pesar los paquetes descubiertos en Pizarro, Chocó, las autoridades dijeron que lo incautado eran 13,2 toneladas de coca.
En el cargamento encontraron paquetes con un peso entre 10 y 30 kilos. Este es el segundo decomiso más grande realizado en los últimos años en el país
La droga, con un costo de US$340, fue hallada en zona rural de Pizarro. En este departamento han sido incautados 33,8 toneladas de la sustancia.
El cargamento encontrado en Pizarro, Chocó, era de 13.2 toneladas de coca. Aunque en un primer momento el Ministro de Defensa indicó que eran 25 toneladas de droga, luego de que fueron pesados cada uno de los paquetes hallados en los 927 bultos, las autoridades descubrieron que se trataba de esta cifra.
El comandante de la Fuerza Naval del Pacífico, contralmirante Orlando Malaver, aclaró ayer que “por las condiciones difíciles de la zona donde fue encontrada la droga, no se pudo visibilizar la real cantidad, no se pudo tener una visión total”.
“Por primera vez en la historia de estas incautaciones nos encontramos con paquetes de diferentes tamaños. Generalmente cada paquete contenía entre 20 y 25 kilos, eso era lo tradicional, por eso sumándolos daba 25 toneladas, pero los paquetes pesaban 10, 15, 20, 25 y hasta más de 30 kilos, algo poco usual en estos envíos”, precisó Malaver.
La droga, con un costo de US$340 millones en Estados Unidos, fue hallada en un operativo conjunto entre la Fuerza Naval del Pacífico y el DAS, realizado entre los corregimientos de Virudó y Pavasa, en el sur de la costa pacífica chocoana.
Este es el segundo cargamento más grande descubierto en los últimos años en el país.
“No se puede desconocer la importancia de este golpe dado al narcotráfico que permite quitarle capacidad financiera para financiar violencia en Buenaventura”, precisó el comandante de la Fuerza Naval.
La operación. Hace un mes un informante del DAS aseguró que miembros del Cartel del Norte del Valle pretendían sacar seis toneladas de coca por el sur del Chocó. Los datos fueron analizados y el viernes pasado quince investigadores fueron enviados a la zona.
La operación se inició el sábado, con el apoyo de la Armada y dos fiscales de la Unidad Nacional de Interdicción Marítima y Narcotráfico. Ese mismo día encontraron un laboratorio para procesar coca.
Al día siguiente, en medio de la vegetación, fueron encontrados los paquetes con la droga. También hallaron siete fusiles, munición y cinco lanchas tipo 'Go Fast'.
“Era un sitio bastante complejo donde además se lograron incautar cinco potentes lanchas con 14 motores de 200 caballos de fuerza, cada una”, precisó el contraalmirante Malaver.
Al parecer, estas lanchas estaban esperando que subiera la marea y que las condiciones climáticas empeoraran (esa es la táctica utilizada) para zarpar con el alcaloide hacia México.
De acuerdo con las primeras pesquisas de los organismos de inteligencia, la cocaína pertenecería a dos capos diferentes, integrantes del Cartel del Norte del Valle.
La droga tenía dos marcas: un puma y una mariposa. El puma, igual al de la marca de ropa, ha sido encontrado en diferentes cargamentos. Precisamente, en las dos incautaciones de 16,5 y 7,5 toneladas de coca, realizadas en el 2005 en Cabo Manglares, Tumaco, Nariño, también fue hallada esta marca.
En esa oportunidad, las autoridades indicaron que el cargamento pertenecía al capo Wílber Alirio Varela, alias 'Jabón'.
La ruta. Desde el año pasado, el sur Chocó se ha convertido en una de las rutas más usadas por los narcos para el tráfico de droga. En este tiempo han sido incautadas 33,8 toneladas de coca, la mayoría en el Bajo Baudó, en la población de Pizarro.
Los controles y los gigantescos decomisos en Tumaco hicieron que aumentarán los envíos por esta zona.
Fuentes de inteligencia revelaron que la coca es cultivada y procesada en sectores de la Serranía del Paraguas y el Cañón de Garrapatas, en la cordillera Occidental, de allí es transportada hacia los centros de acopio de la selva del Pacífico chocoano.
Una vez allí, es trasladada en diferentes modalidades hacia México. Una de ellas es por medio de las 'Go Fast', donde la llevan a barcos pesqueros o en las mismas lanchas siguen hacia el exterior.
Tres datos claves
1. En el cargamento de 8,5 toneladas de droga encontrado el año pasado en Chocó estaba la palabra Puma escrita en los paquetes de coca. La marca es asociada al Cartel del Norte del Valle.
2. En ese mismo cargamento, grabado sobre la cocaína, estaba otro puma con un triángulo. Las autoridades explican que el propietario es quién marca su interior, mientras que el exterior es para quién la recibe.
3. En agosto del 2006 en un cargamento de 1.300 kilos de coca en San Andrés fue hallado otro puma. Estaba en colores blanco, rojo y negro, sobre un fondo de rayas negras y amarillas.
moribundo - May 2, 2007 07:16 PM (GMT)
"2. En ese mismo cargamento, grabado sobre la cocaína, estaba otro puma con un triángulo. Las autoridades explican que el propietario es quién marca su interior, mientras que el exterior es para quién la recibe"
That probably means the load was destined for the Cartel de Sinaloa: or as it is called el "triangulo de oro", referring to the drug smuggling/ producing area in Sinaloa, Durango.
I know that JT used the triangulo for his mota loads.
That the 25 tons are suddenly only 13,4 tons could also mean some militaries are now, very very rich (by selling it back to "jabon")
I remember a time when the GAULA (antikidnap squad) got 4 tons in Baranquilla got 4 tons, belonging to Don Diego Montoya, from a local trafficker and sold it back to "Don Diego" Montoya.
Dutch - May 3, 2007 11:53 AM (GMT)
moribundo - May 3, 2007 02:28 PM (GMT)
JT= Javier Torres a legendary narco from Sinaloa, who worked as Chief of security and Mota cultivation in the "triangulo de oro" for the Cartel de Sinaloa, especially for "el Mayo" Zambada
He is quite a legend in Cualican, because he lead a prototype "narcolife", and a frequent hero in "narcocorridos".
He was captured in 2004, his capture was maybe the major blow the "Federacion" received in the last year.
there a load of homenajes on youtube: Video with fotage of JT in action and captured
moribundo - May 3, 2007 02:32 PM (GMT)
Especially amusing: in freedom he was usually brandishing the uniform of the notorious corrupt Policia Técnica Judicial, in Short PJT: Policia Javier Torres;-)))
donniethesaint - May 29, 2007 10:54 AM (GMT)
:o i read in the paper this week that the police have smashed a drug smuggling that used frozen octupus to hidethe drugs and they seized two tonnes(which is not much conpared to other busts but the two tonnes were forbritain which is a large amount in engand)
EL GUEPARDO - May 30, 2007 01:31 AM (GMT)
Moribundo, de donde eres? Mexico?
moribundo - May 30, 2007 09:14 AM (GMT)
Soy de Europa, pero mis padres son de Colombia, oriundos del Valle del Cauca, emigrantes como muchos
EL GUEPARDO - June 3, 2007 03:47 PM (GMT)
Oh, true? You keep up to date on the Mexican and Colombian drug trafficking?
Hollander - June 19, 2007 10:26 AM (GMT)
SPANISH POLICE SEIZE 4.5 TONS OF COCAINE ON S. AMERICAN SHIP
MADRID - Spanish police on Monday reported detaining a ship that was sailing from Latin America with 4.5 metric tons of cocaine on board.
A police official said the cocaine was presumably intended for drug dealers in the northwestern province of Galicia, and that several local residents suspected of complicity were arrested along with the ship's crew.
Galicia's mafia, one of the most powerful in Western Europe, is notorious for its involvement in drug trafficking, and deals especially in Latin American cocaine and hashish from Morocco.
More than seven tons of cocaine was seized off Spain's coast from the Russian cargo ship Tamsaar in 1999. This is the largest haul to have been seized by Spanish police so far. The Tamsaar crew were sentenced to 10 years in prison for drug smuggling.
Hollander - July 2, 2007 10:38 AM (GMT)
Tonne of cocaine found on deserted ship
July 1, 2007 at 11:04 AM EDT
DAKAR — Police in Senegal have arrested three men from Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador after seizing 1.2 tonnes of cocaine on board a deserted sailing ship which drifted into a popular coastal resort earlier this week.
Another tonne of cocaine was later found stashed in a private home.
Police discovered the sailing ship, which apparently had a mechanical problem, on Wednesday at the Atlantic resort of Mbour, 70 kilometres south of the capital Dakar. It was the West African country's biggest ever narcotics seizure.
Information from the men led police to discover another tonne of drugs stashed in a private home on Sunday, Captain Adama Gueye of the paramilitary police told Reuters.
The men, who had been under surveillance for eight months, were found in possession of weapons including Kalashnikov and Beretta rifles, a satellite navigation device and foreign and local currency, paramilitary police commander Moussa Fall said.
One was arrested at the coastal resort of Saly, south of Dakar, while two others were arrested in the Sine Saloum, a sprawling river delta of lush mangrove swamps and islets.
The seizure highlights concerns that impoverished West Africa, with its unguarded coastline and sparsely populated interior, is becoming a major trafficking route for Latin American drug runners into Europe.
Police found nobody on the vessel when it was discovered but confiscated documents and a bank card from Guinea-Bissau, as well as two airline tickets from Rio de Janeiro to Bissau.
U.N. officials have recently expressed concern that Guinea-Bissau, a former Portuguese colony south of Senegal, could become overrun by drug cartels, which its cash-strapped security forces are ill-equipped to tackle.
Hollander - July 3, 2007 10:28 AM (GMT)
Senegal unravels cocaine network
July 03 2007 at 01:46AM
By Diadie Ba
Dakar - Senegalese police are unravelling a Latin American drug smuggling network thought to be using the west African nation as a hub for trafficking to Europe and the United States after seizing cocaine worth over $200-million (about R1,1-billion).
Police have discovered 2 454kg of cocaine and arrested three South American men since a deserted sailing ship, apparently broken down, drifted into a popular coastal resort last Wednesday with 50 sacks of the drug on board.
The arrests at the weekend of the men from Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador - who police said were caught in possession of guns, satellite navigation equipment and foreign and local cash - led authorities to discover a further drug stash in a private house.
'The South Americans created a fish farming company'
"The South Americans created a fish farming company as a front in the (coastal town of) Ndangane where they invested millions before declaring the company bust and reinjecting the cash into the circuit," Moussa Fall, head of the investigation department of Senegal's paramilitary police, told Reuters.
"Guinea-Bissau was obviously the entry point for the drugs. All the air tickets we have found were from Rio de Janeiro to Bissau. A minute part of the drugs was destined for the local market, the rest was bound for Europe and the United States."
One of the South American men was arrested at Saly, a coastal resort south of Dakar popular with European tourists, while the two others were arrested in the Sine Saloum, a sprawling river delta of lush mangrove swamps and islets.
Three Senegalese accomplices have also been arrested.
South American drug cartels have increasingly been moving their logistics bases to West Africa, lured by lax policing in an unstable region and by the presence of small, underground criminal networks already in place, security experts say.
Operating as flexible groups of individuals, they can recruit couriers among a cheap labour force in countries like Senegal who are then used to market illicit products to diaspora populations in European and U.S. drug markets.
But Antonio Mazzitelli, head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in West and Central Africa, said the latest seizure was probably the biggest ever in the region and suggested a more sophisticated trafficking operation.
"You cannot use west African couriers to smuggle 2,4 tons, it is too much," Mazzitelli said. "There must be bigger players using other means: ships, planes."
Consignments of cocaine have long come from Latin America through the Cape Verde islands off the Atlantic coast, or through Ghana, Nigeria and Togo, from where they are re-exported to markets including Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
Mazzitelli said the wholesale price for a kilo of cocaine in Spain, the main entry point to Europe, was around $42 000 (about R297 000) in 2005. With a retail price twice that high, the Senegalese haul had a street value in Europe of more than $200-million.
More recently, UN officials have warned that former Portuguese colony Guinea-Bissau, just to the south of Senegal, could become overrun by drug cartels which its cash-strapped security forces are ill-equipped to tackle.
Few youths in sport-obsessed and Muslim Senegal use hard drugs such as cocaine but politicians worry that as the country develops and a growing sector of the population becomes wealthy, that may change unless the cartels are fought quickly.
"Young Senegalese users tend to take tablets, amphetamines, they also take Yamba (cannabis) in cigarettes and sometimes alcohol," parliamentarian Abdou Latif Gueye told local TV.
"We're busy constructing roads and new buildings and that's all well and good but we should be protecting our children from this deadly trade," he said.
Additional reporting by Nick Tattersall
Hollander - July 10, 2007 09:13 AM (GMT)
Costa Rica makes big cocaine seizure off Pacific
July 9, 2007
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) - Costa Rican authorities seized almost two tonnes of cocaine on two speed boats on Monday, the latest capture in a series of large, U.S.-backed drug operations in the Central American country.
Costa Rican coast guards hauled 899 kilograms of cocaine off one boat along the country's Pacific coast and stopped another with a similar amount with help of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Authorities have yet to disclose the exact amount on the second boat as Colombian smugglers sabotaged the vessel and caused it to sink in shallow waters, slowing the narcotics collection.
"Judging by the size of the quantity on the first boat, we expect to find a similar amount on the boat that sank," said Public Security Minister Fernando Berrocal.
The Costa Rican and U.S. Coast Guards had been searching for the boats after being alerted by U.S. authorities on Saturday evening, Berrocal said.
Traffickers have changed tactics, hugging the Costa Rican coastline in order to avoid detection on the high seas by the U.S. Coast Guard, he added.
The Coast Rican government, with U.S. assistance, has captured 21 tonnes of cocaine this year, compared with 23 tonnes in all of last year.
Hollander - August 10, 2007 01:16 PM (GMT)
Police intercept drugs worth EUR 180 mln
10 August 2007
AMSTERDAM – A tip from the Rotterdam police led Colombian authorities to uncover a shipment of cocaine with a street value of EUR 180 million. The 4,000 kg of drugs was confiscated en route from Peru to Rotterdam.
Justice officials in Rotterdam say it is one of the largest drug shipments intercepted in the last 10 years.
The shipment came to light after police found 40 kg of cocaine hidden behind wooden beams in a container shipped from Brazil to Rotterdam.
A 78-year-old man from Friesland who is suspected of involvement in the smuggling will be held for at least another week in connection with the investigation.
During the investigation the police discovered that the same group was planning to smuggle another container containing cocaine to the Netherlands, the public prosecution department explains. At the request of Rotterdam police the Colombian police searched the container.
The container held 30 bales of polypropylene, eight of which were filled with cocaine and black rubber to camouflage the drugs.
The investigation into the drug shipment will continue in both Colombia and the Netherlands. The Rotterdam justice department expects there will be more arrests.
Hollander - November 3, 2007 02:57 PM (GMT)
Mexico doubles size of huge cocaine haul
November 1, 2007
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's discovery of a huge cocaine shipment from Colombia grew even larger on Thursday as the government more than doubled the size of the haul to 23 tons, making it one of the world's biggest drug busts.
Police, navy and customs officers found the drugs, the second major seizure in the past month, hidden between plastic floor-covering on a Hong Kong-flagged container ship at the Manzanillo port in Colima state on Tuesday.
They initially announced they found 11 tons but further searches of the ship revealed far more.
"So far, the haul amounts to more than 23 tons of cocaine. This is the biggest seizure of this drug in the country's history," the government said in a statement.
It was the latest blow to drug gangs since President Felipe Calderon deployed thousands of troops across Mexico to attack the dominant Gulf and Sinaloa cartels after taking office last December.
The seizure doubles the Mexican record, set only last month when soldiers found more than 11 tons of cocaine at the port of Tampico on the Atlantic coast.
Officials in Manzanillo have so far checked six containers on the Colombian boat, two of which were packed with cocaine divided into more than 21,000 packets. The search continues.
The seizure "is further proof of President Calderon's commitment to cripple drug lords and bring them to justice," U.S. Ambassador Antonio Garza said in a statement.
He put the value of the cocaine at $400 million.
But the U.S. government said last month the average price of the drug on U.S. streets had risen to $118.70 per gram in the first six months of the year. That would give the Mexican haul an implied value of some $2.7 billion.
Around 2,350 people have been killed in Mexico this year in drug violence, most of it between rival drug gangs.
Last month, a private jet with nearly 4 tons of cocaine aboard crashed into a southern Mexican jungle.
Hollander - July 22, 2008 05:44 PM (GMT)
July 17, 2008, 8:46AM
Homemade sub carrying drugs seized off Mexico
HUATULCO, Mexico — Mexico's navy seized a homemade submarine carrying a drug shipment off the Pacific Coast on Wednesday and arrested its four-man crew.
Similar vessels carrying cocaine have been discovered off Colombia and Central America, but navy spokesman Capt. Benjamin Mar said the seizure is a first for Mexico.
The 30-foot (10-meter) makeshift submarine was detected heading north about 200 miles (322 kilometers) off the southern state of Oaxaca, Mar said.
The green-topped, arrowhead-shaped vessel was intercepted when it surfaced hours later, and the crew was taken into custody without resistance.
The suspects were flown by helicopter to the city of Huatulco, where they told reporters they left the Colombian coastal town of Buenaventura a week ago.
The crew members said they were fishermen forced to make the journey by drug traffickers who threatened to harm their families.
"We didn't know what was on board because we never saw it. It was sealed," said one of the four, Jose Felix Enriquez.
The navy said in a statement that the sub was apparently packed with cocaine, but authorities were still determining how much was on board.
Colombia's drug cartels have been known to use home-built submarines to smuggle large amounts of cocaine past U.S. and Colombian patrol boats to Central America en route to the United States.
Colombian authorities have discovered at least nine such vessels over the past three years. Last August, U.S. forces intercepted a submarine-like vessel packed with tons of cocaine off the coast of Guatemala.
Hollander - August 12, 2008 03:00 PM (GMT)
Spanish police seize 1.4 tons of cocaine, arrest 8
DANIEL WOOLLS ASSOCIATED PRESS
Originally published 09:46 a.m., August 12, 2008, updated 09:46 a.m., August 12, 2008
MADRID, SPAIN (AP) - Spanish police acting on a tip-off from U.S. authorities have seized 1.4 tons of cocaine and arrested eight South American suspects, officials said Tuesday.
The drugs were found in a van near a Barcelona shopping center, in the third major cocaine bust of the summer in Spain and the biggest carried out in the country on land in all of 2008, the National Police said in a statement.
The investigation began in June when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration told Spanish authorities about a drug trafficking gang that wanted to smuggle cocaine from South America to Spain, police said.
Spanish agents tracked two members of the ring that traveled from Venezuela to oversee delivery of the drugs.
Earlier this month, authorities seized the cocaine and arrested four people as they tried to collect it. The other four suspects were arrested in a Barcelona hotel, the police statement said without giving any dates.
Six of them are Colombian and the other two are from Venezuela, it added.
The drugs would have fetched up to euro80 million ($120 million) if peddled by street dealers, or euro45 million ($68 million) if sold wholesale, the statement said.
In another big drug bust, Spanish authorities said last week they had seized 2.5 tons of cocaine in a high-seas raid in international waters of the Atlantic on July 26 and arrested 11 people.
Hollander - October 9, 2008 09:54 AM (GMT)
Paul-Chafs - December 3, 2008 12:50 PM (GMT)
505 KG cocaine is seized in Peru...
watch movie here: http://atvs.vg.no/player/?id=19968
Junior - August 3, 2011 12:55 PM (GMT)
US Coast Guard unloads drug sub cocaine haul in Miami
BBC News, August 2, 2011
Nearly seven tonnes of cocaine seized from a submarine-like vessel off the coast of Honduras have been unloaded in Florida by the US Coast Guard.
Suspected smugglers were intercepted allegedly transporting the drugs, worth an estimated $180m (£110m), in mid-July.
They were arrested after trying to sink their own vessel with most of drugs still on board, said officials.
An FBI dive team recovered the remaining cocaine load last week.
The Coast Guard said in a statement it was the first time the authorities had caught a "drug sub" in western Caribbean waters.
A C-130 fixed-wing aircraft first spotted the self-propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) close to the water's surface on 13 July near the Honduran province of Gracias a Dios.
A Coast Guard cutter was called to intercept the vessel, after US Customs and Border Protection crews also noticed it.
The suspected smugglers jumped into life rafts after pulling a valve inside the SPSS to sink it with the narcotics on board, Coast Guard Lt Patrick Montgomery told the BBC.
"The Coast Guard is always on the lookout for anything that looks suspicious in the water and that definitely includes 15,000lb [6.8 tonnes] of drugs," Lt Montgomery said.
Coast Guard crews took the vessel's five crew members into custody and were able to retrieve a small portion of the cocaine before the vessel sank.
Coast Guard officials said the drugs, which were unloaded in a port in Miami, will now be turned over to the federal government.
Semi-submersible vessels used to transport drugs in the Eastern Pacific are often made in areas of the Colombian jungle controlled by the country's biggest guerrilla group, the Farc, Lt Montgomery said.
SPSS vessels are regularly used to transport drugs along Central America's Pacific Coast.
Earlier reports based on statements made by Honduran government indicated that the SPSS was carrying 2.5 tonnes of cocaine.
Junior - December 12, 2011 05:10 PM (GMT)
Nicaragua Navy Seized 4.7 Tons of Cocaine in 2011
Written by Hannah Stone, InSight
Monday, December 12, 2011
Nicaragua's Navy reported that it has seized 4.7 tons of cocaine so far in 2011.
Rear Admiral Roger Gonzalez Diaz announced the figures at a ceremony to award prizes to members of the navy. He said that the force had also confiscated 279 kilos of marijuana, and captured 29 suspected traffickers, of various nationalities.
The figure of 4.7 tons marks a big drop from last year, when, according to the U.S. State Department, some 13.6 tons of cocaine was seized at sea, presumably by the navy. The country's security forces confiscated 17.5 tons in total that year.
As InSight Crime has noted, the country's navy has been described by the U.S. as one of its best partners in the war on drugs despite the anti-U.S. rhetoric of Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega,
The navy is a key player in Nicaragua's anti-drug operations, as cocaine is most frequently shipped through the country's sea routes, rather than overland or by air.
Junior - February 4, 2012 04:59 PM (GMT)
Costa Rica Makes Biggest Cocaine Haul in 6 Years
Written by Jake Harper, InSight.com
Friday, February 3, 2012
Costa Rica's authorities confiscated two tons of cocaine from two boats off the Pacific coast, in the country's biggest cocaine seizure since 2006.
Police stopped the boats carrying the cocaine off the country's Pacific coast. Among the arrested were two Costa Ricans and three Colombians, while two other Colombian men fled, reports Teletica.
Authorities said the drugs were en route from Colombia, though the exact origins and final destination of the shipment are unknown. Valued at $6 million, the seizure is the largest made by the country since 2006.
InSight Crime Analysis
Most surprising about the seizure was its size. Normally loads are broken into smaller portions to avoid losing such a large quantity in a single bust. A shipment of this size suggests traffickers have had past success shipping their wares to Costa Rica by boat and were confident that they would not be intercepted; or that they were wary of passing through Panama, an area that has seen more fighting between trafficking groups and theft of cocaine.
Drug trafficking operations in Costa Rica date back to the mid-1980s, and the southern Pacific region has long been known for its shipping routes. The evidence suggests that Costa Rica is no longer just a meeting point for Colombian and Mexican cartels but a base of operations.
Junior - March 1, 2012 03:24 PM (GMT)
Drop in Mexico Seizures Shows Cocaine Trade Shifting to Central America: UN
Written by Christopher Looft, InSight.com, Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Cocaine seizures in Mexico have dropped by about four fifths since 2007, which the UN says is evidence that cocaine trafficking is shifting to Central America.
According to the Associated Press, Antonio Mazzitelli of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said that Mexico's cocaine seizures fell from 53 tons in 2007 to just 10 in 2011. However, seizures of methamphetamine and marijuana, which are both produced in Mexico, have not fallen.
Mazzitelli attributed the decline to increased law enforcement pressure in Mexico causing traffickers to move their operations into Central America and the Caribbean.
InSight Crime Analysis
The decline in Mexico's cocaine seizures must be considered in the context of the fact that the country generally seizes low quantities of cocaine relative to the amount that passes through the country. In 2007, for example, Mexico confiscated 48 tons while Central America seized double that, at 97 tons, according to UNODC figures. This is despite the fact that in that year at least 90 percent of the US's cocaine supply passed through Mexico, and less than 1 percent of this through Central America.
The small quantity of seizures in Mexico may then have to do with problems in Mexico's law enforcement, as well as with the shift of criminal activities to Central America.
Junior - March 7, 2012 12:42 PM (GMT)
Nicaragua Navy Seizes 2 Tons of Cocaine
By Christopher Looft, InSight
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Nicaragua's Navy has seized more than two tons of cocaine in an operation along the Caribbean coast, the latest indication of the increased prominence of Central American land and sea routes in cocaine trafficking.
According to Navy captain Blass Hernandez, the cocaine, transported by four suspects, was coming from Colombia. The raid took place in Punta de Aguila, about 35 miles south of Nicaragua's main Caribbean port, Bluefields. The suspects arrested are presumed to be Colombian.
This latest seizure is equivalent to about half of the total cocaine that Nicaraguan authorities seized during 2011.
InSight Crime Analysis
The raid is the latest sign that South American cocaine producers are relying increasingly on Central America as a transit point for drugs headed north. As Nicaragua's Navy seized 4.7 tons of cocaine in 2011, a precipitous drop from 2010, this seizure may indicate that that either maritime enforcement is picking back up or that cocaine trafficking through the region is continuing to rise.
InSight Crime has reported on the relative calm in Nicaragua even as security conditions detoreriorate for its Central American neighbors. But this latest big cocaine seizure is a reminder that Nicaragua is not completely immune to the international drug trade.
Junior - March 14, 2012 11:39 PM (GMT)
Spain, Portugal Break Up Argentine Cocaine Trafficking Ring
Written by Edward Fox, InSight.com
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Authorities dismantled a smugglers' ring that trafficked hundreds of kilos of cocaine from Argentina to Europe, pointing to the continent's increased importance as a consumer market.
As part of "Operation Patagonia," a joint initiative between Spanish and Portuguese authorities, police seized 393 kilos of cocaine in late February. The cocaine is estimated to have a market value of over $18 million.
Seven Argentines were arrested, five of them in Lisbon, another in the Canary Islands, while the group's supposed leader was detained in Barcelona, reports Clarin.
According to officials, the drug was smuggled in bags of charcoal (pictured above) between the ports of Buenos Aires and Lisbon. Experts told Clarin that the use of charcoal is ideal for traffickers moving cocaine as both are organic materials, making it much harder for authorities to scan and find anything suspect.
Police became aware of the group's smuggling operation last December, after the traffickers apparently left behind a 14 kilo bag of cocaine in a shipping container. The ensuing investigation led to the identification and arrest of the Argentine suspects, as well as the seizure of the cocaine shipment in Lisbon some weeks ago.
No information has been released about the identities of the detainees, though Spanish police said the group's alleged leader has a criminal history in Argentina and is "well known" there.
InSight Crime Analysis
Argentina has long been a key transit route for cocaine headed for Europe, while Spain acts as the continent's primary gateway for drug trafficking organizations. According to the US State Department's 2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Argentine officials believe that the country is an increasingly important transit country for cocaine, due to the aggressive counter-narcotics efforts in Colombia and Mexico forcing traffickers to look at alternate routes, combined with weak interdiction efforts in neighboring Bolivia (the world's third highest producer of cocaine).
So far, however, it is unclear whether the Argentine nationals detained in Europe have any direct ties to the larger Colombian and Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs). While such a link would not be surprising given the organizational capacity required to ship hundreds of kilos of narcotics, if the smugglers were acting alone, it could suggest that independent traffickers from Argentina are increasingly keen to exploit Europe's growing cocaine market.
Junior - April 10, 2012 09:59 PM (GMT)
Costa Rica Seizes 4 Tons Cocaine at Single Border Crossing in 2012
Written by Tatiana Faramarzi, InSight.com, Monday, April 10, 2012
Costa Rican authorities have seized 4 tons of cocaine this year at a single crossing point on the Nicaraguan border, in a sign that overland shipping routes remain important despite Costa Rica's efforts to tighten security on its land borders.
Costa Rica's Security Ministry said that 4 tons of the drug have been seized in 2012 at the Peñas Blancas crossing, close to the Pacific coast, reports EFE.
The most recent confiscation took place on April 7, when Costa Rican police found 256 kilos of cocaine hidden in the tires of a truck driven by a Salvadoran national, who was reportedly heading to El Salvador.
InSight Crime Analysis
Drug traffickers are increasingly shipping their product through Costa Rica, which confiscated its highest-ever amount of narcotics in 2011, at more than 10 tons. Much of the drug trade in Costa Rica is thought to be controlled by the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel.
The 4 tons seized this year at Peñas Blancas means that the crossing point, which lies on the Pan-American Highway, may be the most important route for land shipments of drugs passing through the country. In the last six months of 2011, the Costa Rican authorities seized just over 4 tons in the country as a whole. Peñas Blancas has seen high cocaine seizures for some time; in 2009, nearly 3 tons of cocaine were confiscated there.
The high rate of seizures suggest that overland routes through Costa Rica remain important, despite reports that tighter security on the country's southern and northern borders had encouraged traffickers to move away from land routes and ship more drugs by air and sea.
Junior - July 2, 2012 06:13 PM (GMT)
Peru Destroys Massive Marijuana Crop, Pointing to Possible Rise in Cultivation
Written by Michael Kane, InSight.com, Monday, July 2, 2012
In a two-day operation, Peruvian authorities destroyed 34,000 marijuana plants, reflecting a trend of increased seizures and destruction of the drug crop in the country in recent years.
Twenty officers from Peru's National Police destroyed the crops, which were nearly ready for harvest. They made a long hike to reach the fields in a remote jungle region in Chinchao, Huanuco, in central Peru, where they then spent the night.
Police sources told Diario Correo that marijuana crops in the area are grown by locals, who are given money and seeds by drug traffickers.
InSight Crime Analysis
The 2012 United Nations World Drug Report does not list Peru as a major producer of marijuana, but some reports indicate that marijuana production has been slowly rising there in the past decade.
The International Narcotics Control Board’s (INCB) 2011 annual report called on the government of Peru to investigate a trend of increased seizures of cannabis herb, which nearly doubled between 2009 and 2010. It also discovered that in 2009, seizures of marijuana plants rose to 137.5 tons, a nearly six-fold increase in four years.
The US State Department's 2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report put Peru’s marijuana seizures at 3 tons, slightly lower than the 3.4 tons reported the year before, but still a markedly higher rate than the 1.8 metric tons seized in 2010.
These numbers do not necessarily reflect increased marijuana production in Peru, however. The 2011 INCB report points out that the total area of marijuana cultivation in the country is unknown and that with coca cultivation on the rise there, it is unlikely that serious law enforcement resources will be committed to combating what is still a comparatively minor issue for Peru.