Colombia Seized More than 4 Tons of Cocaine and Destroyed 63 Labs
By Yolima Dussán/Diálogo December 21, 2020
In the last two weeks of October, Colombian authorities seized 4.5 tons of drugs and dismantled 63 cocaine hydrochloride processing labs, in six operations carried out in different parts of the country.
On October 28, the Colombian Navy reported seizing 2,085 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride, 24 nautical miles northeast of Punta Arenas, Antioquia. Units of the Colombian Navy and the Panamanian Air and Naval Service conducted the coordinated, combined operation.
Following the chase of a speedboat with a crew of four Colombians and a Honduran national on board, the officers intercepted the drug, which belonged to the criminal group Clan del Golfo, the Navy said.
Also on October 28, the Colombian Military Forces’ General Command (CGFM, in Spanish) reported the results of an operation carried out in the urban area of the city of Cartagena, where authorities found 678.8 kg of cocaine in a basement. The drug was bound for Honduras.
“The result was possible thanks to information received through the Citizen Participation Network, alerting about the constant movement of suspicious packages from the insular area of Cartagena, Bolívar, into the urban area,” the CGFM reported, adding that the drug belonged to the Clan del Golfo.
On October 27, the National Police reported seizing 357 kg of cocaine hydrochloride found in a wagon at the Maritime Container Terminal in the Port of Cartagena. Authorities found the drug after inspecting some packages bound for Belgium that allegedly contained agricultural fertilizer.
Also on October 27, authorities reported seizing two more shipments of cocaine hydrochloride, also in Cartagena. The first seizure consisted of 119 kg hidden in metal parts, and the second one was of 798 kg concealed among tile and porcelain items.
Finally, on October 23, agents intercepted a light aircraft carrying 500 kg of cocaine. The operation, the Colombian Air Force said in a press release, was launched thanks to the National Air Defense System, which identified an unexpected change in an aircraft’s route. The interdiction occurred over the Atlantic coast airspace.
The Narcotics Police dealt another harsh blow to the criminal group’s finances on October 17, upon locating 63 rustic labs for extracting cocaine base paste. Authorities conducted the operations simultaneously in Cauca and Caquetá departments.
According to the police, each lab could produce around 1 ton of coca base per month. The operations concluded with the destruction of the facilities and supplies for the production of the drug.