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Colombian, Ecuadorean Navies Seize Drugs and Capture Narcotraffickers

Colombian, Ecuadorean Navies Seize Drugs and Capture Narcotraffickers

By Yolima Dussán/Diálogo
November 23, 2020

The Ecuadorean Navy reported the result of an operation achieved through binational collaboration, after the Colombian Navy provided intelligence to carry out the interdiction of a suspicious speedboat in the Pacific Ocean.

“A total of 1,157 brick-type packages, each with 1,000 grams of controlled substances, a vessel, three engines, and three Ecuadorean nationals, were the results of the maritime operations that the Ecuadorean Navy, in coordination with the Colombian Navy, carried out in the continental exclusive economic zone,” the Ecuadorean Navy indicated on its website on September 9.

Colombian service members discovered a false-bottom on a vessel, where they found 1,146 kg of cocaine hydrochloride, on September 11, 2020. (Photo: Colombian Navy’s Pacific Naval Force)

Ecuadorean service members opened the boat’s false-bottom with axes to remove the packages, where they also found food and bottled water to feed the crew during their seven-day journey to Central America, the Ecuadorean newspaper El Universo reported on September 10.

“Combined operations between Colombia and Ecuador are ongoing, thanks to a constant dynamic of bilateral meetings where we review and develop protocols and strategies to combat narcotrafficking,” the Colombian Military Forces’ General Command (CGFM, in Spanish) added. The two countries share a 580-kilometer border.

On September 11, in Colombia, “units of the Tumaco Coast Guard Station conducted a maritime interdiction,  detecting a vessel that was sailing at high speeds in the general area of Majagual, Tumaco,” the CGFM told the press. “After a chase, the speedboat was intercepted 46 nautical miles northwest of the coast of Nariño.”

Colombian service members discovered a false-bottom in the vessel, where they found 1,158 pressed and packed rectangular packages that tested positive for 1,146 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride, the CGFM reported. During the operation, authorities captured the three crew members and seized a georeferencing buoy and 1,022 liters of fuel, the service members said, noting that the cache belonged to the criminal group United Guerrillas of the Pacific, a dissident group of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

“In Colombia alone, from January to August, the Pacific Naval Force has seized more than 120 tons of cocaine and almost 35 tons of marijuana, about 155 tons of narcotics,” Colombian Navy Rear Admiral John Fabio Giraldo Gallo, commander of the Pacific Naval Force, told Diálogo.