El Salvador has seized close to $300 million in drugs this year

With the recent seizure of at least 3.1 tons of drugs valued at $77 million, the Salvadoran government has already seized more than 12 tons of narcotics valued at nearly $300 million during the year 2022.

At the end of August, after the seizure of 3.6 tons of cocaine, the Minister of National Defense, René Merino, assured that to date they had confiscated 7.3 tons of drugs valued at $222 million; when adding the last public seizure, the figure rises to $299 million.

Yesterday, the President of the Republic, Nayib Bukele, announced on his Twitter profile that the Naval Force had detained three foreigners, of Ecuadorian nationality, in a semi-submersible (the Low Profile Vessel, or LPV for its acronym in English) with the packaged stash and with identifications of a star, a crown, and a woman who appeared to be an aviation military.

The detention of the foreigners occurred 470 nautical miles southwest of the Port of Acajutla, in Sonsonate, the equivalent of 870 kilometers from the mainland.

According to the president’s account, when the drug traffickers were surprised, «they sank the boat,» but the elements of the Naval Force recovered the cache «so that it cannot be rescued later by the drug traffickers.»

The drug traffickers sank the boat, but our troops managed to recover the drugs, so that they cannot be rescued later by the drug traffickers.» Nayib Bukele, President of the Republic

Other stashes.

Bukele also assured that this is the largest seizure of the year; however, the last large cache confiscated exceeded this amount. On August 18, the Naval Force located a semi-submersible with 2,290 kilos of cocaine valued at $57.25 million, and two days later they located another vessel with 1,350 kilos, valued at $33.758 million. On that occasion, they assured everyone that everything took place during the Poseidon 2 operation and that the total confiscation amounted to 3,640 kilos.

On that occasion, nine foreigners were arrested for international drug trafficking: three Ecuadorians, two Colombians, and four Guatemalans.

In 2021, the authorities assured that $270 million in drugs were seized that year, and in August, they affirmed that during the entire Bukele government, there were close to 16.4 tons seized, valued at $410.7 million.

On May 12, the Naval Force also detected three foreigners aboard another LPV 488 nautical miles southeast of La Concordia port, in La Paz, with 810 kilos of cocaine from the province of Esmeralda, in Ecuador and that They were destined for Mexico.

On May 4, another narcolancha was detained with another 800 kilos of cocaine and three Mexicans on board, 574 kilometers from Puerto La Concordia, in front of the department of La Paz. That seizure was also valued at $20 million, according to Bukele.

On February 25, the security authorities and the Navy reported the seizure of 2.1 tons of drugs, valued at $52.7 million, south of Acajutla. There were three Colombians and an Ecuadorian arrested. That same month, but at the beginning, the authorities seized $7.5 million worth of drugs, equivalent to about 300 kilos, on El Espino beach.

Three facts about drug seizures

Large seizures
Between January and November, there have been at least six large drug seizures, mostly cocaine, that already total more than 12 tons.

Arrested
According to data provided by the authorities in August, there were more than a hundred foreigners arrested and prosecuted for international trafficking.

LPV
Most of the seizures made at sea have been from semi-submersible vessels or Low Profile Vessel (LPV).