Dominican Republic narcotics agents find nearly 250 kilos of cocaine worth $9.9 million stashed inside panels of speedboat after high-speed chase: Drug smugglers flee after abandoning vessel on beach
- At least 248 kilos of cocaine were found inside a speedboat on the southwestern coast of the Dominican Republic on Tuesday
- The shipment has an estimated street value of $9.9 million
- The discovery was made after a group of alleged traffickers abandoned the vessel on the shores of a beach in the province of Barahona
- Smugglers crossed the Atlantic from South America and led the military and narcotic agents on a chase before they made it to the city of Enriquillo
- The suspected traffickers had not been arrested as of Wednesday afternoon
Dominican Republic agents chasing after suspected drug smugglers on the high seas discovered a $9.9 million shipment of cocaine concealed underneath the panels of the speedboat after the vessel was abandoned on a beach.
The National Drug Control Directorate said in a statement Wednesday that security forces spotted the craft vessel approaching the Caribbean nation after it had crossed from South America via the Atlantic Ocean.
Narcotic agents and military servicemen chased after the smugglers on Tuesday and ordered them to stop, but the drug runners made it to the shores of a beach in Enriquillo, a town in the southwestern province of Barahona.
A National Drug Control Directorate agent in Barahona, Dominican Republic, inspects a speedboat Tuesday after it had been abandoned by smugglers that had crossed the Atlantic from South American with a shipment of 248 packages of cocaine, each holding at least one kilo. No arrests had been made as of Wednesday
The Dominican Republic’s National Drug Control Directorate revealed Wednesday that agents were able to remove 248 packages of cocaine that has been left behind inside a speedboat on the shores of a beach in Enriquillo, a city in the southwestern province of Barahona
The drug traffickers abandoned the speedboat and fled without being caught but officials identified the suspects as Dominican and foreign nationals.
Agents searched the vessel and found approximately 248 packages containing at least one kilo of cocaine a piece that were under the single-engine motor watercraft.
‘Normally after each operation when a vessel is intersected in the high seas or on the short, this type of inspection is carried out so that we can rule out (the presence of narcotics),’ Navy spokesman Captain José Vásquez said during a press conference. ‘These criminal networks believe that they are going to mock the authorities.’
Agents assigned to the Dominican Republic’s National Drug Control Directorate remove a panel from a speedboat before removing a cocaine shipment that had been sailed over from South America
The cocaine shipment seized by the Dominican Republic’s National Drug Control Directorate has a street value of $9.9 million
The operation was the latest among a string of busts made by Dominican authorities in an attempt to thwart local drug trafficking organizations that partner with major networks in Mexico and South American to flood the United States, Europe and Puerto Rico with cocaine.
A narco jet from South America crashed in Oviedo, a city in the southwest province of Perdenales, on September 29 after the Cessna pilot refused orders from the military to land.
Authorities on the ground recovered a total of 288.87 kilos of cocaine divided into 277 plastic-wrapped packages.
According to the DEA’s 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment, ‘Dominican TCOs (transnational criminal organizations) collaborate with foreign suppliers to have cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl shipped directly to the Northeast from Mexico, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.’
The report also indicated that, ‘Dominican traffickers take advantage of Puerto Rico’s status as a U.S. territory to facilitate commercial air transport of cocaine into the United States, mainly into the Northeast and south Florida.’
‘Dominican TCOs typically use small maritime vessels to transport cocaine and heroin from the Dominican Republic into Puerto Rico via the 80-mile stretch of sea known as the Mona Passage, and subsequently these traffickers utilize mail, commercial shipping services, and maritime vessels to transport illegal drugs to the United States,’ the DEA found.