In the early morning hours of May 21, the Colombian Navy seized a large shipment of cocaine off its southern Pacific coast, valued at more than $9 million.
Acting on information from naval intelligence, a Colombian Coast Guard unit from the Tumaco station was deployed. The unit detected a boat sailing at high speed off the coast of Malpelo Island and gave chase. A patrol aircraft assigned to U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) provided air support and the Colombian Navy was able to intercept the boat.
Once on board the vessel, Colombian authorities arrested three men and found 275 kilograms of cocaine along with ammunition and communications equipment. Colombian authorities said the cocaine shipment was bound for Costa Rica.
Providing a patrol aircraft assigned to SOUTHCOM is another example of how the U.S. is working with its partner nations in the counterdrug effort in the region. In Colombia alone, government officials estimate that naval forces seized more than 60 tons of cocaine so far in 2020.
On April 1, SOUTHCOM began enhanced counternarcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to disrupt the flow of drugs in support of Presidential National Security Objectives. Numerous U.S. agencies from the departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security, along with allied and international partner agencies, have played a successful role in counter-drug operations, yielding numerous seizures since the operation was announced.