US Coast Guard seizes US$23 million in cocaine in Caribbean Sea

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Coast-Guard--2-FLORIDA (CMC) – The United States Coast Guard says it has seized an estimated 1,500 pounds of cocaine nabbed in the Caribbean Sea earlier this month.

The Coast Guard said the drugs, offloaded in Florida on Monday, had a wholesale value of US$23 million.

Coast Guard Cutter Tampa’s commanding officer, Clinton Carlson, said the seizure on March 12 “highlights the hard work and dedication of our crews in stopping the illegal flow of drugs in the Caribbean.”

“This interdiction demonstrates the effectiveness of our federal and interdiction partnerships to keep dangerous drugs off our streets,” he added.

Carlson said the interdiction was part of Operation Martillo, which is one component in the United States government’s “whole-of-government approach” to countering the use of the Central American littorals as transshipment routes for illicit drugs, weapons and cash through the Caribbean Sea.

Operation Martillo is an international operation focused on sharing information and bringing together air, land, and maritime assets from the US Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and Western Hemisphere and European partner nation agencies to counter illicit drug trafficking, Carlson said.

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