Colombian Air Force Finds Drugs in Network of Underground Containers
By Lorena Baires/Diálogo July 27, 2020
The Colombian Air Force (FAC, in Spanish) reported on May 26 the seizure of 2.4 metric tons of cocaine with an approximate value of $72 million. The drug was hidden in a network of underground containers in the municipality of Uribia, La Guajira department. The cache, discovered in coordination with the Colombian National Police (PNC, in Spanish), was hidden in three warehouses, but authorities found another 15 containers ready to store narcotics.
“It should be noted that these clandestine warehouses are used by the organized criminal group Los Pachenca, which has suffered heavy blows against its structure and criminal activity,” FAC said. “This operation was carried out with a plan to track and obtain the exact location of [the containers] with the alkaloid,” PNC’s Anti-Narcotics Directorate stated.
“The form of concealment is not new, as we’ve previously seen that they built [containers], but such a large volume of drugs is unusual in that area of the country,” said FAC Major General Fernando Losada, commander of Air Operations Command.
“In the fight against drug trafficking, the military intelligence technology and experience developed during training with U.S. Southern Command were important components to achieve the results,” added Maj. Gen. Losada. “The years of strengthening intelligence and technology matters are combined so that we can have these results.”
PNC investigations suggest that the alkaloid came from the Catatumbo cross-border region and was shipped in cargo vehicles to La Guajira department in 300-kilogram shipments.
The large border area in La Guajira department is used by drug trafficking organizations to smuggle out illicit drugs,” PNC said. “Their final destination is the United States and Europe, through staggered maritime movements.”