Nicaragua Intercepts Boat with Cocaine with Help from U.S. Coast Guard
By Dialogo March 08, 2011
With the help of a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, the Nicaraguan Navy intercepted a fishing boat carrying twenty-five kilos of cocaine off the Caribbean coast, the local press reported on 6 March.
The East Coast #1 – a Nicaraguan-flagged vessel – was captured on 4 March more than sixty kilometers north of the port of Bilwi, the leading city of Nicaragua’s northern Caribbean region, Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Culver, executive officer of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Dauntless, declared to the press.
The U.S. Coast Guard personnel “supported the Marines from here (Nicaragua) who boarded the boat” to seize the twenty-five kilos of cocaine, worth 750,000 dollars in the United States, Culver said.
Twelve Nicaraguans who were on board were detained in the operation, in which the boat was also found to be carrying, in addition to the drugs, nearly five thousand kilos of frozen fish, which Culver said would be turned over to the Nicaraguan government, because “it would be unfortunate to waste that natural resource.”
The operation was part of the cooperation agreement in effect between Nicaragua and the United States since 2001 to combat drug trafficking.
The agreement allows the U.S. Coast Guard to patrol Nicaraguan waters and airspace, with the due authorization of the Nicaraguan government, and stipulates that arrests of drug traffickers in national waters will be made by the local authorities.
Nicaragua was included on the list of the twenty countries with the most transshipment of drugs in the U.S. State Department’s recent report.