Dominican Republic Seizes 1.7 Tons of Cocaine

Dominican Republic Seizes 1.7 Tons of Cocaine

By Lorena Baires/Diálogo
February 22, 2021

The Dominican Republic seized 1,763 kilograms of cocaine in four operations from December 1-22, 2020, thanks to the coordination of the country’s National Drug Control Board (DNCD, in Spanish) and the Office of the Attorney General.

Dominican officers unload 162 kg of cocaine that were intercepted in a speedboat coming from South America, on December 22, 2020. (Photo: Dominican Republic National Drug Control Board)

On December 22, DNCD air and maritime units reported seizing 162 kg of cocaine that were being transported in a speedboat, five nautical miles off La Ciénaga, Barahona province.

Authorities detected the largest cache on December 10, when Dominican service members prevented a container with 1,186 kg of cocaine from departing the Multimodal Caucedo Port for Europe. They also seized 38 bags of the drug that were hidden in a coffee shipment coming from Central America. In addition, authorities found four 9mm pistols, five magazines, three ammunition boxes, and two bullet-proof vests.

“This is one of the largest seizures so far this year [2020] in this port,” Carlos Devers, DNCD spokesperson, told Diálogo. This smuggling method is known as gancho ciego or blind hook, which is “a concealing method that uses containers for illegal drug trafficking. Neither the sender nor the recipient is aware that the shipment is being used to transport illicit goods,” the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says on its website.

The DNCD reported on December 7 that during another operation a diving team found 55 kg of cocaine in two bags attached to a vessel coming from Jamaica and bound for Puerto Rico.

On December 3, authorities intercepted a vessel that was carrying 360 kg of cocaine off the coast of Bayahibe municipality. They also detained two Dominican nationals who were sent to prison, the DNCD concluded.