The Panamanian National Air and Naval Service (SENAN, in Spanish), as part of operations Genesis and Caribe, seized 2,560 kilograms of cocaine from a speedboat with six Colombian nationals on board, north of Isla Grande, in the province of Colón, the institution reported January 28, 2022.
“In the operation, supported by U.S. aerial means, the crew members […] made evasive maneuvers leading to a chase until they were secured,” SENAN said.
After coordinating with the narcotics branch of the Colón and Guna Yala Prosecutor’s Office, authorities transferred the vessel, crew, and drugs to the Almirante Cristóbal Colón Naval Base at Fort Sherman.
In another interdiction, units of the Panamanian Regional Center for Aeronaval Operations, with U.S. air support, intercepted a speedboat manned by three men carrying 449 kg of cocaine, north of Miramar, Colón province, SENAN reported on January 9. During January the institution seized 9,286 kg of illicit substances in 11 operations, the institution added.
Panamanian authorities stepped up their fight against organized crime and drug trafficking on January 27 by deploying special forces and tactical units in the fourth phase of Operation Caribe. Launched in 2021, Operation Caribe seeks to strengthen operational actions against criminal gangs and organized crime engaging in narcotrafficking in the region.
With a deployment of more than 150 units of the National Police, SENAN, and the Panamanian National Border Service, uniformed officers have been reinforcing surveillance to minimize the incidence of crime in the province of Colón, the Panamanian Ministry of Public Security indicated on its website.
This operation is having a firm impact on criminal groups, “dismantling their mobility corridor and that of their logistics supply satellites in a forceful manner,” said Panamanian Minister of Public Security Juan Manuel Pino. “We are going to stop organized crime.”