Drug seizures in the Bukele administration total $545 million

Security authorities reported this Friday that drug seizures during the administration of President Nayib Bukele, within the framework of the Territorial Control Plan, have been 25 tons valued at $545 million.

“So far in the Territorial Control Plan, a total of 25 tons of different drugs have been seized together with the National Civil Police, representing $545 million. The only drugs seized on the high seas from June 2019 to date are 16.4 tons, equivalent to $410.7 million,” explained Minister Merino Monroy.

The official, together with the Minister of Justice and Security, Gustavo Villatoro, and the director of the National Civil Police (PNC), explained that the results of the security strategy continue to be irrefutable; the authorities warned that they will not allow drug trafficking structures to use the Salvadoran coast to transport cocaine shipments.

Last week, in two proceedings, an estimated $91 million worth of cocaine was seized on the high seas.

Regarding these facts, the authorities explained that the first million-dollar shipment of cocaine was intercepted last Thursday at 11:25 a.m. 450 nautical miles southwest of Acajutla, Sonsonate, which was transported in a semi-submersible [low-profile vessel for its acronym in English] that was driven by an Ecuadorian and two Colombians.

A second boat approached, on Friday afternoon, to where the first was held, but seeing the presence of the authorities, they tried to flee. However, personnel from the Trident Task Force gave chase until they were intercepted. The boat in which they tried to escape was of Mexican manufacture and, apparently, would be used to complete the route with the drug that the first one did not complete. In this case, 2,290 kilos of cocaine valued at $57,250,000 were seized.

A second boat was intercepted by the authorities on Saturday at 12:30 pm, 480 nautical miles from the coast [30 miles away from where the first one was intercepted]. The vessel was carrying 1,350 kilos of cocaine valued at approximately $33,750,000.

In total, the shipment of cocaine transported by both vessels was just over 3.6 tons, worth $91,000,000, authorities reported.

To these seizures of cocaine made by the authorities on the high seas are added those registered in the rest of 2022, such as the one that occurred on February 3 when they seized 300 kilos; while the one registered on February 14 was 1,900 kilos; on May 4 it was 800 kilos; Similarly, on May 13, the authorities seized 810 kilos, according to police data.