Big Cocaine Seizure Made Off Guatemala’s Pacific Coast
By Dialogo December 07, 2009The Guatemalan navy and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration detained 12 people who were transporting 2,000 kilos (about 2.2 tons) of cocaine aboard four speedboats off Guatemala's Pacific coast, officials said. A Guatemalan army spokesman told reporters that the joint operation was carried out in the country's territorial waters, some 80 nautical miles off the coast of the southern province of Escuintla. Because it was an operation led by the DEA and the case is still under investigation, the identities and nationalities of the suspects were not revealed. According to local media, the drug smugglers departed from South America and had Mexico as their final destination. On Oct. 21, the DEA, with the support of the Guatemalan navy, captured a semi-submersible vessel in which three Colombians and two Mexicans were transporting five tons of cocaine. That shipment was seized off Guatemala's Pacific coast and was the biggest cocaine haul ever confiscated in that country's territory. About 11 tons of cocaine have been seized this year in Guatemala, according to official figures. Separately, Guatemalan security forces seized a shipment of 82,899 tablets of pseudoephedrine - the key ingredient in methamphetamine - that had been shipped from Bangladesh. The pseudoephedrine, whose importation and sale has been banned in Guatemala since February, was found at a warehouse near La Aurora international airport. The shipment of the drug had been hidden in a shipment of women's clothing that had recently arrived in Guatemala from the Asian country, the National Police's press office said.