SAN JUAN – Four Guyanese citizens were arrested in an operation that seized 4.2 tons of cocaine worth some $125 million from a fishing boat sailing north of Suriname, the San Juan Coast Guard reported Monday.
Authorities said in a press release that the operation was carried out Feb. 16 in the Atlantic Ocean, when a US Coast Guard ship detected the cocaine-carrying fishing vessel 70 feet (21 meters) long, registered on the isle of Saint Vincent.
The captain of the Coast Guard ship out of San Juan, Francisco Rego, called this is the biggest maritime drug bust in the Atlantic Ocean since the year 1999.
Capturing the drug runners and their cargo was made possible thanks to intelligence sharing by US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) personnel in its Santa Cruz and Barbados offices, among other federal agencies that make up the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force.
Where the cargo of drugs came from and where it was headed have not been revealed, since the investigation is still underway.
“As the cocaine flow from South America continues to increase, law enforcement partners in the Eastern Caribbean Region have to increase our collaborative efforts in order to effectively respond to the threat,” the DEA’s assistant special agent in the Caribbean, James Doby, said.
“Such collaborative efforts are currently underway in the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force, where law enforcement partners are collocated every day,” he said.
The four men taken into custody face criminal charges at the US District Court of the Virgin Islands, the Coast Guard said.