US Coast Guard seize drugs worth $60m in Caribbean

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US Coast Guard seize drugs worth $60m in Caribbean

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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NEW YORK, United States (CMC) — The United States Coast Guard says nearly US$60 million in drugs had been seized by the Cutter Bear in the Caribbean Sea during a 45-day exercise.

It said that 12 suspected drug smugglers had been detained and 72 bales of cocaine confiscated while working with the US Department of Defense and other law enforcement partners.

The Coast Guard said that the Bear's crew conducted a four-day joint law enforcement boarding with Haitian partners.

“It was an exceedingly difficult boarding due to the vessel's large size, configuration and amount of cargo onboard,” said Commander Don Terkanian, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Bear.

“I am proud of the hard work and dedication our crewmembers put in during that four-day boarding. I am also thankful for the sacrifices their families make every day to support their Coast Guardsmen and their missions to keep our country safe.”

Earlier this month, the US Coast Guard, United Kingdom Royal Navy and US law enforcement partners seized 1,400 kilograms (3,086) pounds of cocaine and detained nine suspected smugglers following the interdiction of two separate drug smuggling events in the Caribbean Sea.

The seized drug shipments were estimated to have a wholesale value of more than US$46.2 million, the US Coast Guard said.

US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Caribbean Division special agent in charge, AJ Collazo, said: “these operations reiterate the significance of intelligence and resource sharing amongst agencies.

“We will continue to aggressively target and disrupt drug trafficking organisations operating in the Caribbean,” he added.

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