Colombia, Ecuador, US Seize More than 7.4 Tons of Cocaine
By Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo November 22, 2021
In four maritime operations in the Pacific Ocean, service members from Colombia, Ecuador, and the United States seized 7,410 kilograms of cocaine that criminals were transporting in three semisubmersibles and a speedboat, the Colombian Navy (ARC, in Spanish) indicated on November 4, 2021.
In the first operation, Colombian service members seized a semisubmersible carrying 340 kg of cocaine at the mouth of the Naya River, Valle del Cauca, on October 31. Authorities arrested the semisubmersible’s three crew members after they jettisoned the drug into the sea and attempted to flee, the ARC said.
With information from Colombia provided to Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF South) and the Ecuadorian Navy, the three forces coordinated to intercept a speedboat carrying 1,573 kg of cocaine in Salinas, Ecuador, on October 23.
In two other simultaneous operations on October 23, Colombia reported that JIATF South had seized 5,497 kg of cocaine in two semisubmersibles near Malpelo Island, Valle del Cauca. Authorities captured the crew — three Ecuadorians and three Colombians.
The ARC’s Poseidon Task Force against Narcotrafficking told the Colombian media outlet Noticias Caracol that this was the toughest blow against narcotrafficking in 2021.
From January to September 2021, the ARC has seized 23 semisubmersibles in the Pacific coast of Colombia, the Spanish news agency EFE reported.
“Cooperation and coordination with U.S. agencies on information and cooperation are vital in the fight against narcotrafficking,” Colombian Minister of Defense Diego Molano told EFE in Washington, D.C., on October 27.
As a result of international cooperation operations or maritime agreements, Colombia seized some 241 tons of cocaine hydrochloride between January 1 to November 9, 2021, the Colombian Ministry of Justice said on its website.