The Panamanian police seized 2.9 tons of drugs in several operations carried out in the last few hours in the Central American country, a point of entry into Central America for narcotics destined for the United States, the anti-drug prosecutor’s office reported this Saturday.
“There are almost three tons of drugs” seized in two operations, announced the anti-narcotics prosecutor, Xiomara Rodríguez.
The first operation took place on Friday in the indigenous region of Guna Yala, in the Caribbean, when units of the National Aeronaval Service (Senan) intercepted a speedboat on the Sidra River “with 2,006 packages,” of approximately one kilo each, he said. Rodriguez.
The drug, presumably cocaine, was found after the crew of the boat jumped into the water when they noticed the presence of the agents, added the prosecutor.
In a second operation, on Friday night, the police were able to locate another 990 drug packages hidden in a container with altered seals in a port in the province of Colón, also in the Caribbean.
According to Senan, the container was on a merchant ship that had left the port of Long Beach, United States, and was destined for Antwerp, Belgium.
Panama is the gateway to Central America for the drug that, coming from South America, is transported to the United States, the world’s leading consumer of cocaine.
In 2021, Central America seized nearly 250 tons of drugs, a record figure caused by the increase in cocaine production, the release of stored drugs onto the market during the coronavirus pandemic, and the new strategies for their transfer to the United States and Europe.
According to official data, with 128.7 tons -mostly cocaine-, Panama led seizures in Central America last year.
In the last year there has also been an increase in seizures in Panamanian ports in the Caribbean, which are sometimes used by drug traffickers to move illicit substances to Europe, where the price for their sale is higher.
According to prosecutor Eduardo Rodríguez, so far this year, “a total of 19 tons of drugs” have been seized in the ports of Colón.