Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic are joining efforts to stop transnational criminal groups that attempt to move drugs to the United States or Europe on Caribbean waters. Between March 1 and 20, together they seized 2,723 kilograms of cocaine at different locations in their territorial seas.
On March 14, the Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action (FURA, in Spanish) seized 450 kg of cocaine and detained two people 3 nautical miles off Punta Figuras, in Arroyo municipality, the institution posted on Facebook. Authorities found the drug in 15 bales on a vessel sailing with its lights off.
On March 7, both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic hit narcotrafficking structures. Puerto Rico Police’s Intelligence Division and Maritime Division seized 1,600 kg of cocaine and detained a Dominican and a Venezuelan national at El Cocal beach, Yabucoa municipality.
“FURA agents, while patrolling, saw a speedboat stranded on the beach, with bundles that they suspected were drugs, so they proceeded to inspect it and later confirmed that it was cocaine,” the Dominican website El Caribe reported.
Also on March 7, the Dominican National Drug Control Directorate (DNCD, in Spanish) seized 515 kg of cocaine in an interdiction operation carried out at a home in the Los Cacicazgos sector, National District.
“The residence was used by the criminal network as a center for the collection and preparation of drugs for export to Europe through the country’s ports,” the DNCD said in a statement.
On March 4, the DNCD and the Dominican Navy dismantled a criminal organization that used speedboats to smuggle drugs between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
Authorities seized 158 kg of cocaine and detained 16 people. In addition, they seized three outboard motorboats, six vehicles, two motorcycles, five firearms (two pistols and three shotguns), and ammunition of different calibers.