Colombian Navy Seizes Cocaine, Solid Chemical Precursors in Two Operations
By Myriam Ortega/Diálogo March 11, 2021
The fight against narcotrafficking continues for the Colombian Navy, which in late January seized half a ton of cocaine in the Caribbean coast of Colombia and more than 5 tons of solid chemical precursors for its production on the Amazon River.
During a combined operation by the Colombian Navy and the National Police, authorities seized 510 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride aboard a Singapore-flagged merchant ship in Turbo, Antioquia department, the Colombian Military Forces General Command (CGFM, in Spanish) said in a press release. While inspecting the ship, which was bound for Costa Rica, units of the Urabá Coast Guard Station and the Urabá Port Control Anti-narcotics Company found the drug packed in 20 suitcases.
“In the general area of the Gulf of Urabá, it’s the Clan del Golfo that engages in the illicit drug trafficking business. This is probably part of these narcotics transport operations in the ship contamination mode,” Colombian Navy Captain Joaquín Adolfo Urrego Silva, commander of the 73rd Counternarcotics Task Force Neptune, told Diálogo.
“In 2018, in the Caribbean, [authorities] seized about 67 tons of cocaine hydrochloride; the following year, there was an increase in these seizures, and they seized about 90 to 92 tons; and last year , a very peculiar year for everyone due to the pandemic, they seized 142 tons of cocaine hydrochloride,” Capt. Urrego added.
During another operation carried out through the Amazon Coast Guard Command on the Amazon River, near Puerto Nariño, the Navy seized more than 5 tons of solid chemical precursors used to process cocaine, the CGFM reported in a statement.
Colombian Navy Lieutenant Commander Juan Camilo Ocaña, the Amazon Coast Guard Station commander, told the press that the operation was made possible due to information provided by the Amazon Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Section, which helped locate an artisanal wooden vessel that was transporting the material without any documentation.
Lt. Cmdr. Ocaña said that, during the operation, authorities seized 50 kg of urea, 4,250 kg of cement, 1,000 kg of ammonium sulfate, and 682 liters of gasoline. The vessel and its crew — a Colombian, a Brazilian, and a Peruvian national — were brought before the Office of the Attorney General.