The USCG announced in a Monday news release that a mid-May pursuit of a suspected smuggling vessel off the coast of Central America led to the seizure of an estimated $18.7 million in suspected cocaine. The release did not specify which Central American country the vessel was detected near.
Check out these photos from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Confidence.— USCGPacificSouthwest (@USCGPacificSW) June 1, 2020
The Confidence's crew seized approximately 1,090 pounds of suspected cocaine in mid-May with an estimated value of $18.7 million. #CounterDrugOPS
More info here: https://t.co/yldxKLCYpK pic.twitter.com/pINCuYeP6K
According to the release, the Coast Guard Cutter Confidence (WMEC-619) was alerted to the vessel in question’s location by a maritime patrol aircraft.
“Once on scene, Confidence’s crew initiated a pursuit of the suspected smugglers who began throwing contraband overboard,” the USCG noted.
The suspected smugglers eventually complied with Confidence’s orders to halt and allowed the crew to board. Despite the dumping, some 494 kilograms (1090 pounds) of suspected cocaine were recovered.
The USCG did not mention any physical conflict during the incident.
This seizure comes amid the US Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) enhanced counternarcotics operations, which began on April 1, in support of the Presidential National Security Objectives.
More recently, SOUTHCOM announced the Colombia deployment of an advisory team from the US Army’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade. The combatant command noted the team will be assisting Colombian security forces in counternarcotics efforts.