In early August, the Colombian Navy dealt another harsh blow to narcotrafficking in the Pacific coast of Colombia with the seizure of more than 4.3 tons of drugs, including cocaine and marijuana, as well as a Self Propelled Semi Submersible (SPSS) and four speedboats.
Units of the Pacific Naval Force intercepted the semisubmersible off the southern coast of Nariño department with U.S. air support, the naval institution indicated in an August 7 statement. The 15-meter-long vessel, which was bound for Central America carrying 2,040 kilograms of cocaine, had a crew of two Colombians and a foreign national, Colombian Navy Rear Admiral Orlando Cubillos Chacón, commander of the 72nd Poseidon Task Force against Narcotrafficking, told Diálogo.
A unit of the Colombian Navy watches over the three crew members of a Self Propelled Semi-Submersible that they captured with more than 2 tons of cocaine on board. (Photo: Colombian Navy)
“[TheSPSS] belonged to the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] western group, the Western Bloc Alfonso Cano, which carries out crimes under the leadership of alias Allende,” Rear Adm. Cubillos said. “This illegal organization […] profits from the narcotrafficking chain, meaning illicit crops, coca base paste production, and cocaine crystallization, in addition to sending drug shipments abroad.”
On August 6, the Navy announced the results of four maritime interdiction operations in which its units intercepted three vessels that were transporting 1,654 kg of cocaine, as well as a fourth one that was heading for Central America with 636 kg of marijuana.
These results were achieved following the Orion VII international naval campaign, which gathered 38 nations in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Caribbean waters from May 15 to June 30. According to a Colombian Ministry of Defense statement, Orion’s seventh phase facilitated the seizure of 116 tons of cocaine hydrochloride, 95 tons of marijuana, 85 tons of solid chemical precursors, and more than 215,000 liters of liquid chemical precursors, among others. In addition, authorities destroyed 780 illegal facilities used for alkaloids processing and intercepted three semisubmersibles and five aircraft.