Panama Seizes 3 Tons of Drugs in 3 Days
By Roberto López Dubois/Diálogo October 22, 2020
The Panamanian Air and Naval Service (SENAN, in Spanish) seized about 3 tons of drugs, including cocaine and marijuana, in different operations conducted in Panamanian waters in late August. Authorities captured 13 people, Commissioner Ramón Nonato López, SENAN director, told Diálogo.
On August 29, SENAN units, after receiving intelligence from Colombian security institutions, intercepted a fishing vessel that was carrying 800 kilograms of cocaine in the vicinity of Isla Ladrones off the Pacific coast of Panama. Authorities captured five crew members, SENAN’s Public Affairs Office told Diálogo.
On August 28, SENAN units responded to an illicit maritime traffic alert from the United States, off the coast of Los Santos province, in the Pacific. Upon noticing security forces, the crew members abandoned the vessel and fled. On board, authorities found 372 kg of cocaine. Two Colombian nationals were captured on the beach, SENAN’s Public Affairs Office reported.
The main seizure took place northeast of Isla Grande on August 27, when SENAN units intercepted a go-fast vessel carrying 1,790 packages of drugs, containing more than 1 ton of cocaine and about 20 kg of marijuana, SENAN’s Public Affairs Office reported. Authorities captured the vessel’s five crew members. This operation was carried out with support from Colombian intelligence and U.S. surveillance aircraft.
On the same day, SENAN units seized 125 packages of marijuana that were hidden in plastic tanks, during an operation at the Balboa Amador Yacht Club in Panama City, SENAN said in a press release.
From January to mid-September 2020, according to data provided by SENAN, the institution seized more than 26 tons of cocaine and 6 tons of marijuana. In the same period in 2019, authorities seized more than 23.8 tons of cocaine and 4 tons of marijuana, the institution said.