Panamanian Security Forces Seize Large Volume of Drugs

By Dialogo
April 27, 2015



Panama's Public Forces and National Police seized more than 13 tons of drugs during the first three months of 2015 -- more than double what was seized during the same time frame a year earlier.

The National Police seized 6.5 tons of narcotics, including cocaine. The National Aeronaval Service (SENAN) confiscated 4.1 tons of mostly the same drugs, and the National Border Service (SENAFRONT) seized 2.1 tons of cocaine along with smaller amounts of heroin. By comparison, the National Police, SENAN, and SENAFRONT removed six tons of narcotics off the streets during the first quarter of 2014.

Drug traffickers intended to transport the narcotics to the United States, Europe, Central America, and throughout Panama.

During the first quarter of 2015, Public Forces and the National Police collectively conducted 806 drug-related cases, leading to the arrests of 423 suspects. International cooperation was an important component of these efforts; for example, Panamanian law enforcement authorities captured 28 of the suspects during operations with security forces from other countries and the U.S. Armed Forces.

Panama is also participating in Operation MARTILLO, a multinational mission to crack down on illicit drug trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus. Operation MARTILLO combines the forces of 14 countries in the Americas – Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru Canada, and the United States – along with France, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. They work together to combat international drug trafficking, enhance regional security, and promote peace, stability, and prosperity throughout the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Since 2009, Panama, a key transshipment point for drug traffickers, has seized more than 276 tons of drugs. About 80 percent of the cocaine that reaches the United States comes through Mexico and Central America, the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board stated in its 2014 report.

SENAN and SENAFRONT are branches of Panama’s Public Forces that have protected the country since the government abolished the Military in 1990.

Colombian National Army destroys cocaine laboratory belonging to the FARC


Soldiers with the Colombian National Army's Sixth Division destroyed a cocaine laboratory belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia's (FARC) Third Front in the Department of Meta.

During the operation, they seized 250 kilograms of coca leaves, 24 kilograms of coca paste, 100 kilograms of cement, and two gallons of sulfuric acid, among other supplies and equipment. The Army didn’t immediately report whether Soldiers captured any suspects.

The Army continues to ask residents to use hotline 146 to report any suspicious activity while they continue to combat violence and the trafficking of illicit goods nationwide.


Panama's Public Forces and National Police seized more than 13 tons of drugs during the first three months of 2015 -- more than double what was seized during the same time frame a year earlier.

The National Police seized 6.5 tons of narcotics, including cocaine. The National Aeronaval Service (SENAN) confiscated 4.1 tons of mostly the same drugs, and the National Border Service (SENAFRONT) seized 2.1 tons of cocaine along with smaller amounts of heroin. By comparison, the National Police, SENAN, and SENAFRONT removed six tons of narcotics off the streets during the first quarter of 2014.

Drug traffickers intended to transport the narcotics to the United States, Europe, Central America, and throughout Panama.

During the first quarter of 2015, Public Forces and the National Police collectively conducted 806 drug-related cases, leading to the arrests of 423 suspects. International cooperation was an important component of these efforts; for example, Panamanian law enforcement authorities captured 28 of the suspects during operations with security forces from other countries and the U.S. Armed Forces.

Panama is also participating in Operation MARTILLO, a multinational mission to crack down on illicit drug trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus. Operation MARTILLO combines the forces of 14 countries in the Americas – Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru Canada, and the United States – along with France, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. They work together to combat international drug trafficking, enhance regional security, and promote peace, stability, and prosperity throughout the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Since 2009, Panama, a key transshipment point for drug traffickers, has seized more than 276 tons of drugs. About 80 percent of the cocaine that reaches the United States comes through Mexico and Central America, the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board stated in its 2014 report.

SENAN and SENAFRONT are branches of Panama’s Public Forces that have protected the country since the government abolished the Military in 1990.

Colombian National Army destroys cocaine laboratory belonging to the FARC


Soldiers with the Colombian National Army's Sixth Division destroyed a cocaine laboratory belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia's (FARC) Third Front in the Department of Meta.

During the operation, they seized 250 kilograms of coca leaves, 24 kilograms of coca paste, 100 kilograms of cement, and two gallons of sulfuric acid, among other supplies and equipment. The Army didn’t immediately report whether Soldiers captured any suspects.

The Army continues to ask residents to use hotline 146 to report any suspicious activity while they continue to combat violence and the trafficking of illicit goods nationwide.
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