News briefing – Week of 29 May

  • A large-scale crackdown was carried out by Panamanian authorities who seized four tonnes of cocaine worth $400 million and which led to the detention of 64 people. The operation took place after a two-year investigation into a drug-trafficking ring which allowed for the seizure of 49 vehicles, a tonne of marijuana and $2.5 million in cash.
  • Nearly a tonne of cocaine was seized by the Mexican Navy on a fishing vessel in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. Mexico is a major transit country for cocaine trafficking, Mexican cartels daily shipping large quantities of drugs across the U.S. border to reach the domestic market.
  • A tonne of cocaine was seized by the U.S. Coast Guard off the coast of Puerto Rico. The haul is estimated at more than $30 million. Three individuals of Dominican nationality were arrested.
  • Operation Lionfish, coordinated by Interpol and involving more than 2000 police and custom officers across 14 countries, led to the dismantling of a transnational organised crime network from West Africa and the Asean region. The two-week operation has so far led to 59 seizures, including 350 kg of drugs, and to the mapping of smuggling routes, notably that of methamphetamine.