Colombian, U.S. Security Forces Partner to Seize 270 Kilograms of Cocaine

By Dialogo
December 08, 2014



Working in cooperation, Colombian and U.S. security forces seized 270 kilograms of cocaine on December 3 that organized crime operatives planned on transporting inside the hull of a cargo container ship docked in the port of Cartagena.

The Colombian Navy, the Attorney General’s Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit, and the Assistant Attaché Office in Cartagena worked with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents to locate and seize the cocaine. Security forces found the cocaine inside a residence near the port, where they arrested a Colombian man in connection with the seizure. They did not immediately reveal which narco-trafficking organization is suspected of owning the cocaine, but reported that drug traffickers planned on transporting the cocaine to the United States.

“Through operations like this, the global law enforcement community is sending a strong message to drug trafficking organizations everywhere saying: we’re here, we’re united and we’re coming after you," Cartagena Assistant Attaché Fernando Plascencia said in a prepared statement. “I commend the Colombian government for their unrelenting efforts in targeting organizations and individuals involved in this illegal activity that hurts so many.”

Spanish police capture Colombian suspects


Spanish police recently captured 12 suspects from four countries, including Colombia and Peru, while dismantling a cocaine laboratory.

The suspects were not identified by name, but they included five Colombians, five Spaniards, one Peruvian and a Nigerian. The suspects allegedly processed “significant quantities” of cocaine in a laboratory in the municipality of Níjar, and then smuggled the drugs, mixed with palm kernel meal, to Spain.

Police arrested the suspects in Madrid, Almería, Toledo and Cádiz after conducting months of surveillance. They also seized 229 kilograms of cocaine, weapons and equipment used to process the drug.

“It is the first time that a lab has been dismantled in Spain that used practices similar to those used by drug-trafficking organizations in laboratories in the jungle in Colombia, where an alkaloid is extracted from the coca leaf and then processed,” Spanish police reported.

The arrests were the result of an investigation that Spanish police began in December 2013 after being informed by Colombian and U.S. officials that a Colombian narco-trafficking organization would try to smuggle a large cocaine shipment into Spain.

USS Vandegrift seizes 873 kilograms of cocaine as part of Operation MARTILLO


The USS Vandegrift and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) seized about 873 kilograms of cocaine from a small boat off the Central American coast while supporting Operation MARTILLO on November 14.

The Vandegrift’s helicopters spotted the vessel in an area known to be frequented by narco-traffickers. When the ship’s crew tossed 22 bales of cargo into the water, LEDET agents recovered them. The bales tested positive for cocaine; U.S. military authorities did not immediately disclose whether they made any arrests during the interdiction.

Operation MARTILLO combines the forces of 14 countries in the Americas – Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Canada, and the United States – along with France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. They work together to combat international drug trafficking, enhance regional security, and promote peace, stability, and prosperity throughout the Caribbean and Central and South America.

At-sea interdictions are highly coordinated, with the security forces of the participating countries partnering to identify, stop, and search suspicious vessels.


Working in cooperation, Colombian and U.S. security forces seized 270 kilograms of cocaine on December 3 that organized crime operatives planned on transporting inside the hull of a cargo container ship docked in the port of Cartagena.

The Colombian Navy, the Attorney General’s Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit, and the Assistant Attaché Office in Cartagena worked with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents to locate and seize the cocaine. Security forces found the cocaine inside a residence near the port, where they arrested a Colombian man in connection with the seizure. They did not immediately reveal which narco-trafficking organization is suspected of owning the cocaine, but reported that drug traffickers planned on transporting the cocaine to the United States.

“Through operations like this, the global law enforcement community is sending a strong message to drug trafficking organizations everywhere saying: we’re here, we’re united and we’re coming after you," Cartagena Assistant Attaché Fernando Plascencia said in a prepared statement. “I commend the Colombian government for their unrelenting efforts in targeting organizations and individuals involved in this illegal activity that hurts so many.”

Spanish police capture Colombian suspects


Spanish police recently captured 12 suspects from four countries, including Colombia and Peru, while dismantling a cocaine laboratory.

The suspects were not identified by name, but they included five Colombians, five Spaniards, one Peruvian and a Nigerian. The suspects allegedly processed “significant quantities” of cocaine in a laboratory in the municipality of Níjar, and then smuggled the drugs, mixed with palm kernel meal, to Spain.

Police arrested the suspects in Madrid, Almería, Toledo and Cádiz after conducting months of surveillance. They also seized 229 kilograms of cocaine, weapons and equipment used to process the drug.

“It is the first time that a lab has been dismantled in Spain that used practices similar to those used by drug-trafficking organizations in laboratories in the jungle in Colombia, where an alkaloid is extracted from the coca leaf and then processed,” Spanish police reported.

The arrests were the result of an investigation that Spanish police began in December 2013 after being informed by Colombian and U.S. officials that a Colombian narco-trafficking organization would try to smuggle a large cocaine shipment into Spain.

USS Vandegrift seizes 873 kilograms of cocaine as part of Operation MARTILLO


The USS Vandegrift and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) seized about 873 kilograms of cocaine from a small boat off the Central American coast while supporting Operation MARTILLO on November 14.

The Vandegrift’s helicopters spotted the vessel in an area known to be frequented by narco-traffickers. When the ship’s crew tossed 22 bales of cargo into the water, LEDET agents recovered them. The bales tested positive for cocaine; U.S. military authorities did not immediately disclose whether they made any arrests during the interdiction.

Operation MARTILLO combines the forces of 14 countries in the Americas – Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Canada, and the United States – along with France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. They work together to combat international drug trafficking, enhance regional security, and promote peace, stability, and prosperity throughout the Caribbean and Central and South America.

At-sea interdictions are highly coordinated, with the security forces of the participating countries partnering to identify, stop, and search suspicious vessels.
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