News Briefing – Week beginning on 22 June

The increasing cooperation between Peru and Bolivia in the fight against drug trafficking led to the destruction of at least 50 clandestine airstrips in Peru and to the seizure of more than a dozen small planes in the Bolivian Amazon.

In a joint operation of the US and the Costa Rican coast guards, police forces seized more than a ton of cocaine on two fishing boats travelling in Panamanian waters. Six Costa Ricans and one Ecuadorian were arrested.

Three people were allegedly executed in the largest drug case in Liaoning province in Northeast China. The three men were found in possession of 2,000 methamphetamine pills and 36 kg of drug and, as they were identified as the leaders of a drug gang, they were given the death penalty.

After a joint investigation with Colombia, the United State charged 17 members of Colombia’s biggest criminal gang, Los Urabeños, for alleged involvement in drug trafficking and other crimes.

Spanish police arrested a Venezuelan veterinarian in the northwestern town of Santa Comba, for allegedly trafficking heroin, by implanting it in puppies. According to Colombian reports, the vet was reportedly a member of a drug trafficking gang that used dogs to send liquid heroin from Colombia to the United States.

A massive anti-drug operation was performed by Albanian authorities in the major illegal marijuana-growing village of Lazarat, approximately 200 km from Tirana. The shootout has left a police officer dead and two others injured. Lazarat came to prominence in 2014, when the police destroyed 102 tonnes of marijuana and 535,000 marijuana plants, with an estimated market value of €6.4 billions.

According to police reports, a group of traffickers composed by Colombians, Mexicans and Costa Ricans was taken down by police authorities in San Rafael de Heredia, Costa Rica. After his arrest, the leader of the organisation informed the police of the existence of a warehouse, where the agents found 213 kg of cocaine, US $216,415 and ¢8,000 in cash, and several weapons.

A popular Nigerian businessman was arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). The man is accused of recruiting and sponsoring couriers to China, Malaysia, Turkey, and Italy. In the suspect’s hometown in Anambra state, the NDLEA allegedly discovered three laboratories used for illegal production of methamphetamines.