News briefing – week beginning September 1st

• 2,800kgs of cocaine were unloaded off the US Coast Guard Cutter Legare and put on display in Miami this week. The haul was the result of a successful two-part US Coast Guard operation which targeted “go-fast” vessels operating off the coasts of Panama and Colombia.

• Police in Costa Rica seized an SUV containing 400kgs of cocaine in the Pacific coastal province of Puntarenas. It is believe that 16 packages of the drug were loaded into the car at a fish market in the city of Puntarenas.

• The tonnage of cocaine resulting from a police operation in Peru last week was raised to a new record of 8.5 tons. The new figure was released on Monday after Peruvian authorities publicly displayed the haul in Lima.

• Chile’s Policía de Investigaciones (PDI) made the country’s 2nd largest cocaine seizure of the year. 2.4 tons of cocaine and marijuana were captured from the Melipilla district of Santiago following a successful raid there. The raid was filmed by the PDI; the dramatic footage can be watched here.

• A high-ranking member of the Mexican Sinaloa drug-trafficking cartel was arrested at Madrid airport by the Spanish Guardia Civil. Jaime Antonio M.E., 62, was returning to Mexico having reportedly spent a week travelling across Spain establishing business contacts.

• Moroccan police seized a record 226kgs of cocaine and arrested six suspected drug smugglers in the city of Marrakech. The haul was found on board a lorry which had arrived from the country’s south, suggesting that the land smuggling route across the Sahel may have been put to use.

•  It was announced that Iran and Tajikistan will formalise their counter-narcotics partnership by signing a memorandum of understanding between the two countries. The Iranian Interior Minister is due to travel to the Tajik capital next week to sign the treaty, which is chiefly designed to stem the transhipment of heroin.

• The Kenyan government was handed a list of 6 suspected drug traffickers operating in the country’s east by INTERPOL agents this week. The report is the culmination of years of investigative work, and is known to contain the fingerprints as well as the financial records of numerous high-profile Kenyan drug traffickers.