US Coast Guard drug busts net $500m of cocaine


United States

A drug haul of about 9,000 kilograms of cocaine has been seized over the course of a two-month campaign launched by the US against drug cartels operating in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Key points:

  • The drugs were seized in eight operations by the crews of four cutters between mid-November and mid-January
  • The Coast Guard said the busts were made off Mexico, Central America and South America
  • The busts were part of a campaign against drug cartels operating in the region

The cocaine, estimated to be worth about $US338 million ($500 million), was offloaded from the cutter Munro at Naval Base San Diego on Monday morning.

The drugs were seized in eight operations by the crews of four cutters between mid-November and mid-January.

The US Coast Guard released aerial surveillance video showing boats being pursued and boarded at sea.

The campaign against drug cartels involves numerous US agencies, as well as the US Navy.



Photo:

The cocaine was seized from known drug-transit zones of the eastern Pacific Ocean. (AP: John Gibbins/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

According to NBC San Diego, the Coast Guard said the busts were made in “known drug-transit zones” off Mexico, Central America and South America.

The television station reported Rear Admiral Peter Gautier saying the cocaine would have been headed to Central America to be diluted with other chemicals before being smuggled into the US.

In September, the US Coast Guard offloaded more than 5,400kg of cocaine in Miami that was seized from suspected drug smugglers in the eastern Pacific Ocean.



Photo:

Crew members from the cutter Thetis hoist drugs seized in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean in November. (AP: Petty Officer 1st Class Mark Barney/US Coast Guard)

AP/ABC

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news



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