CARTAGENA, Colombia – Colombian anti-drug police at the port of Cartagena seized 985 kilograms of cocaine hidden in eight containers destined for the Dominican Republic, authorities said Thursday.
The director of the Colombian Anti-narcotics Police, Gen. Ricardo Restrepo Londoño, told Efe that the drugs “were hidden in the floor. The girders supporting the structure of the containers had been modified and inside they had tried to hide the packages of cocaine...”
Restrepo said that “we’ve been able to prove that the shipment is linked to Colombian drug traffickers, associated with drug traffickers in Central American countries.”
According to Restrepo, the shipment had certain very special characteristics, given that the packets are not the “almost square ones of 1 kg that normally have been found but rectangular ones weighing about a pound.”
The drug packets, he said, were marked with the word “Rasta,” adding that this seizure was able to be linked with another one made recently in the nearby city of Barranquilla, capital of Atlantico province, where 522 kg of cocaine packed in a similar way were found.
“The only thing they modified was the final destination. The Barranquilla shipment was going to Belgium and this one to the Dominican Republic,” Restrepo said.
He also said that the find was made thanks to the authorities’ monitoring of a front company located in the southwestern port of Buenaventura from which it was known that exports were pending via one of the Cartagena ports.
According to Anti-narcotics Police figures, so far this year, nine tons of cocaine have been seized in Colombia’s Caribbean region and 39.2 tons nationwide.
Restrepo said that as a result of these figures and those provided by the SIMCI system to monitor illicit crops, estimates are that yearly cocaine production in Colombia stands at “approximately 290 tons.”