Colombian Navy Ends 2020 Dealing Hard Blows to Narcotrafficking
By Myriam Ortega/Diálogo February 10, 2021
The Colombian Navy ended 2020 continuing its fight against narcotrafficking, and affecting the finances of criminal groups. Among the operations carried out, two that were conducted in mid-December in the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Colombia stand out, resulting with the seizure of more than 2 tons of cocaine and the capture of three criminals.
On December 11, the Navy reported in a statement that during an operation on the coast of the Córdoba department, Coveñas Coast Guard units found aboard a speedboat, which the crew had abandoned on the beach, 46 packages containing 1,152 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride. The boat also transported tanks with more than 4,500 liters of gasoline, the Navy said.
According to the naval institution, including this finding, authorities seized more than 130 tons of cocaine in the Caribbean coast of Colombia in 2020.
On December 9, the Navy reported seizing 1,136 kg of cocaine hydrochloride off the coast of Valle del Cauca department, during maritime security and control operations carried out by units of the Buenaventura Coast Guard Station.
“We have intelligence information [that] there are areas where the shipment of this type of material has always been recurrent,” Colombian Navy Lieutenant Commander Felipe Portilla, chief of the Buenaventura Coast Guard Station, told Diálogo. “On one occasion while patrolling, we found a suspicious vessel, due to its speed and direction; for this reason, the unit in charge reacted immediately by conducting the interdiction operation, managing to detain the boat, which had three people on board.”
The boat also carried fuel tanks, along with the equivalent of $636 in Colombian pesos, the Navy said.
“There is something atypical in this event, and it is that usually, each time we make drug seizures on boats like this go-fast, there are always [crew members of] various nationalities, but in this specific case there were only three Colombians,” Lt. Cmdr. Portilla said. “Usually, there is always a Colombian who knows about the boat’s departure, where it is being loaded, and someone who is a national of the country where it will arrive. In this case, it’s odd that all [crew members] were Colombian.”
From January 1 to December 21, 2020, the Navy seized 295.9 tons of cocaine and 49,010 kg of marijuana, the naval institution said in a press release. Authorities also intercepted 33 semisubmersibles, destroyed 327 narco-labs, and eradicated 3,030 hectares of illicit crops in Nariño department, among other results.