The Dominican Republic’s security forces stepped up their operations to disrupt transnational criminal organizations. From September 16 to October 17, 2020, authorities seized more than 1.7 tons of cocaine in four operations led by the Dominican National Drug Control Directorate (DNCD, in Spanish), with the support of the Dominican Navy and Army.
On October 17, in the Caucedo Multimodal Port, Boca Chica municipality, where DNCD agents inspected shipments bound for Puerto Rico and Europe. Upon intercepting a truck and exchanging gunfire with two people in the vehicle, the agents found 306 kilograms of cocaine, the DNCD told the press.
Two days earlier, on October 15, the Navy seized 444 kg of cocaine in an air-maritime interdiction off the coast of San Pedro de Macorís municipality. According to the DNCD, the drug was on a fishing vessel manned by two Dominican nationals.
On October 1, Army service members reported finding 673 kg of cocaine while they searched containers in the Multimodal Caucedo Port. The drug was camouflaged in a cocoa shipment.
Finally, on September 16, the Navy and Air Force seized 297 kg of cocaine on a fishing vessel. Crew members jettisoned the drug packages when security forces cornered them, the Navy reported.
Help from SOUTHCOM
To support the efforts against transnational organized crime and to promote regional security, on September 19, U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) donated eight all-terrain vehicles valued at $670,000 to the Dominican Republic Navy, which reported in a statement that “the vehicles will be used by the Navy’s Marines Command to improve coastal security and combat transnational threats.”
During the handover, the Navy reported, U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Robert Thomas praised the cooperation program’s continuous success. “This donation is just another element in the constant collaboration among our forces.”