Coordinated work between the Colombian Navy, the Colombian Air Force, and U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), led to the identification of a suspicious vessel in the archipelago of San Andrés, in the Colombian Caribbean, Colombian daily El Tiempo reported 20 March.
The military operation escalated with the pursuit and interdiction of the speedboat, where authorities found more than 3,000 packages of cocaine hydrochloride containing 3,382 kilograms of the drug. According to the Colombian Navy, the vessel was intercepted 121 nautical miles off the Colombian coast.
“Our military forces dealt the biggest blow [in the archipelago] in cocaine seizure. This demonstrates the joint work with a strategic ally like the United States,” Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano said via Twitter.
The vessel’s crew, whose final destination was Central America, consisted of three Nicaraguans and two Costa Rican nationals, who will have to answer to Colombia’s Office of the Attorney General on charges of trafficking, manufacturing, and possession of narcotics.
“This is the result of the synergy between aircraft of the Colombian Navy and the Colombian Air Force, with the support of an air platform of U.S. Southern Command,” Caracol Radio reported according to a statement from the Attorney General’s Office.
According to Colombian Navy Vice Admiral Juan Ricardo Rozo Obregón, commander of the Caribbean Naval Force, the Colombian Military Forces’ offensive operations against narcotrafficking will be carried out relentlessly, not only to affect its structures, but also its finances.
“We will continue with the forceful blows against transnational organized crime, specifically against narcotrafficking, which tries to use the Caribbean maritime space for its crime,” concluded Valmte. Rozo.