Three Years Hitting Gangs and Drug Trafficking: More than $443 Million in Drugs Seized

In the last three years, the National Civil Police (PNC), together with the Armed Forces, have dealt important blows to the gangs and drug trafficking groups from whom they have seized millionaire shipments of drugs, as well as firearms, cash, and all kinds of merchandise.

According to the statistics of the Ministry of Defense, only in the area of ​​drugs have been seized in different operations between June 2019 and May 13, 2022, an estimated 20.6 tons of all types of drugs valued at $443.6 million (see graphic).

Official figures show that, for example, in the first five months of this year, 5.1 tons of drugs valued at $118.4 million were seized, of which the largest amount was cocaine worth $117.5 million.

Defense Minister René Francis Merino Monroy has reiterated that they will not allow drug traffickers to use the Salvadoran coast to move cocaine shipments. “We are not going to allow our territorial sea to be used for drug trafficking,” the official warned.

The general director of the PNC, Mauricio Arriaza Chicas, assured that in the first two and a half months of 2022, drug seizures had quadrupled the seizures of 2021 in the same period. He highlighted the articulated work that they developed together with the Army and the Attorney General’s Office (FGR).

“These figures are possible thanks to the coordinated work with the Trident Naval Task Force of the Armed Forces, from the seizure of drugs in the coastal area, to the transfer of shipments on land so that the Prosecutor’s Office and the PNC can carry out investigations. corresponding, “explained the police chief.

Official statistics reveal that from January to May 2022, 20 drug boats [45 in total since 2019 when the security strategy was launched] and three ships were intercepted.

Strong Seizures of Criminals

In February of this year, the authorities seized a shipment of firearms and ammunition valued at $50,000, which they intended to introduce through Customs at the El Amatillo border crossing in La Unión, hidden among parcels from the US and Honduras, whose addressee was a MS collaborator resident in Jucuarán, Usulutan.

“This is a heavy blow to the criminal structure that sent this weaponry to cause harm to the population,” said Arriaza Chicas.

But in addition, the security work carried out by the Army has left thousands of dollars in seizures of merchandise, cash, and other products that criminals intended to smuggle through “blind” points or unauthorized borders.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Defense, in 2021 alone the seizures exceeded one million dollars, of which the authorities seized $263,020 in cash from the gangs in different operations nationwide.