Colombia Seized 15 Million Dollars from Drug Trafficking in the Last Month
By Dialogo July 02, 2009BOGOTA, July 1, 2009 (AFP) - The Colombian police confiscated 15 million dollars from drug trafficking in the last month, an achievement linked to drug traffickers’ efforts to increase cocaine production, which has dropped due to actions taken by the authorities, the police announced on Wednesday. Police director General Oscar Naranjo, said that “in the last few weeks” the police “have seized around 15 million dollars from drug trafficking” in operations that uncovered two routes by which drug chiefs brought money into Colombia. “Different organizations are involved, but it should be indicated that two routes have been identified in these cases, the Caribbean islands and, in particular, Mexico to Colombia,” the official stated to reporters. Regarding the latter discovery, the police commander indicated that a “system of human couriers” had been detected running from Mexico City to Bogotá and Cali in the southwest. Naranjo indicated that since the beginning of the year the Colombian authorities have seized 17 million dollars of drug money, and he explained that the increase in the flow of currency is due to the traffickers’ need to stimulate cocaine production in light of a fall in supply in the United States. This decrease is explained by actions taken by the authorities against coca crops and their seizures of smuggling shipments, with the result that cocaine for sale on U.S. streets has declined in purity by 39 percent, the official affirmed, citing American government statistics. “The availability of cocaine in the United States has notoriously decreased; hence these organizations are desperate to bring dollars into the country in order to promote the planting and production of alkaloids,” he maintained. Colombia is the world’s largest producer of cocaine, although production fell 28 percent in 2008, from 600 to 430 metric tons, according to a study by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released on June 19.