Panama Thwarts the Distribution of 2.7 Tons of Drugs
By Lorena Baires/Diálogo August 10, 2021
The Panamanian National Air and Naval Service (SENAN, in Spanish) and its Regional Center for Aeronaval Operations seized 2,759 kilograms of drugs in several operations carried out July 1-16, 2021.
Agents seized 243 kg of cocaine that criminals had hidden in a speedboat, SENAN reported in a statement on July 16. Authorities intercepted the vessel off the province of Guna Yala, in the Atlantic Ocean.
On July 13, air and naval units carried out two anti-drug operations. In the first, they seized 155 kg of cocaine in a speedboat that traveled south of Punta Coco, in the Pacific Ocean.
“We successfully intercepted a manned boat […] in which, after inspection, we noticed alterations in the hull,” Major Edgardo Coba, chief of SENAN’s Aeronaval Infantry, said on Twitter. “After coordination with the Office of the Prosecutor for Narcotics, the boat and crew were transferred for proceedings, where the packages were counted.”
Also on July 13, during a monitoring operation in the Port of San Cristóbal, in the Pacific Ocean, authorities found 300 kg of cocaine in a container coming from Chile, which was bound for the Port of Antwerp, Belgium, SENAN said in another statement.
In a land patrol operation on July 12, agents found 361 kg of drugs hidden in a warehouse in the Bijagual community, Coclé province, on the Pacific coast, air and naval authorities said. Authorities added that three men who were guarding the shipment were detained.
On July 5, during another patrol operation to control illicit maritime traffic, agents seized 1,201 kg of cocaine off Contadora Island, in the Pacific Ocean. “We were able to intercept the movement of a speedboat that had two outboard engines and three Colombian crew members, who fled and jettisoned the packages as soon as they noticed our presence,” Deputy Commissioner Dimas Saldaña, head of SENAN’s IV Aeronaval Zone, said on Twitter.
Finally, on June 30, authorities seized 499 kg of drugs in the Port of San Cristóbal, Colón province. The drugs were distributed in 15 bags and hidden inside a cocoa shipment bound for South Africa.
From January 1 to July 16, 2021, SENAN carried out 83 anti-drug operations, seizing more than 40 tons of different drugs, the Panamanian Office of the Attorney General reported. All the cases are in the process of being prosecuted, the Office of the Attorney General added.