BOGOTA – Colombian police seized 1,054 kilograms of cocaine at the country’s main Pacific port of Buenaventura before it could be shipped to Central America and then on to Europe, the police said Thursday.
Police used an X-ray scanner to locate the packets of cocaine in a container, which called attention to itself due to its weight when the related documentation was registered with port authorities.
This is the largest cocaine haul made in Buenaventura so far this year, authorities said.
The container was going to be loaded onto a vessel plying the route to Central America and Europe, thus demonstrating the Clan del Golfo drug trafficking organization’s interest in shipping its illegal product to lucrative markets abroad.
The Clan del Golfo, the largest criminal band in Colombia and earlier known as the Clan Usuga or Los Urabeños, emerged after the 2006 demobilization of the paramilitary United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia.
Meanwhile, a semi-submersible able to transport up to five tons of cocaine to Central America and the US was seized in a rural portion of Nariño province, which borders Ecuador, the Colombian navy said Thursday in a statement.
The operation was undertaken in the town of Candelilla de la Mar by troops with the Poseidon Task Force against Drug Trafficking.
Colombian authorities estimated that drug traffickers spent more than $1 million building the diesel-powered sub, which is 17.6 meters (58 feet) long by 3.4 m (11 feet) wide.
During the operation, the navy troops were harassed by unknown gunmen from Ecuadorian territory and they alerted the neighboring country, whereupon Ecuador deployed its own troops to the area to try and capture the attackers.