Tampa Coast Guard Intercepts 5,500lb Cocaine Haul Worth $94 Million
A Florida Coast Guard intercepted a whopping 5,500lb of cocaine worth around $94 million.
Coast Guard Cutter Tampa’s crew intercepted a stealth boat carrying the Class A drug on April 9, off the Punta Gallinas coast, Colombia, after the boat was spotted by a maritime patrol flight. The drugs were later offloaded in Miami.
A video has been released showing the moment the Coast Guard team encountered the stealth ship.
See it here:
After the ship was intercepted, three suspects were taken into custody – all three of whom were said to ‘be in good health’ despite the likelihood of them having spent a long period of time on the small ship.
All three suspects then received food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.
Once the suspects were taken off the stealth ship, the marine craft was destroyed ‘as a hazard to navigation’.
Lieutenant Commander Jason Neiman said in a press release, ‘This event is the perfect example of numerous key partners unifying our efforts to counter transnational criminal organizations who look to exploit the maritime environment.’
‘By strengthening partnerships, we counter threats together,’ he added.
The release further detailed that while it was Coast Guard Cutter Tampa’s crew who intercepted the drugs, it was the ‘result of multi-agency efforts’ in support of US Southern Command’s enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) programs, and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF).
The operation came after the US Coast Guard Southeast began what was then known as Enhanced Counter Narcotics (CN) Operations in the Western Hemisphere at the start of the month in a bid to increase the disruption of drugs, the release explained.
This recent operation isn’t the only success the Coast Guard hashad recently; following their increased presence, the Coast Guard’s key partners have been involved in more than 60% of drug disruptions in the past 12 months compared to 50% in 2019.
In addition to this, according to Mail Online, over the course of January and February 2021, an estimated $126.7 million worth of drugs were taken by authorities from 10 suspected drug-smuggling vessels.
Meanwhile, the UK Border Force seized a ship of drugs valued at an eye-watering £76 million in January that were hidden inside a banana shipment.
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