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Tuesday, August 22 2017 @ 06:25 PM EDT

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More Than 600 Kilos of Cocaine in Two Drug Seizures

Drug Trafficking By Rocío I. Martins A. for La Critica - The owners of the stores next to the "American Flowers Florists and Curiosities" store, located on Ave. Justo Arosemena were astonished when they went to work on Monday to learn that Panamanian anti-drug authorities had found 469 packages of cocaine in a warehouse of that store after having conducted a search that lasted three hours. The drugs were packed in yellow packages with a "Ron Canela" logos which has also appeared in other recent drug seizures. Police officers needed two drug sniffing dogs to find the drugs, which searched the warehouse until they located the boxes in which the drugs were hidden next to boxes of flowers. During the operation police arrested Panamanian Polinar Rivas Vargas who is the owner of the store and Colombian Héctor Elier Buitrago who has a Panamanian cedula and is also an employee of the store. Both of the men left the premises covering their faces with the clothes they were wearing, hiding from the cameras of the press that were there to cover the story. Units of the National Police and investigators from the Anti Drug Prosecutor's office participated in the search, and they also seized a beige Honda CRV with license plate 279886 and $815 dollars in cash. Anti Drug Prosecutor Jose Abel Almengor said that the search of the premises came about because someone observed unusual movements of small boxes, in addition, people noticed a strange scent in the locale. The florist's office was being used as a front whose only function was to repackage the drugs, and to take them from the boxes in which they were packaged to arrive in Panama and to repack them to make them look like flowers. Also late in the afternoon yesterday another 140 packages of cocaine were found in suitcases and plastic boxes inside of a luxurious house located in Villa de las Fuentes #1 in the area of Bethania, owned by the same man who owned the florist's. During the search officials also found plastics and materials used to repack the drugs.
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US officials seize cocaine from cargo ship off PR

Drug TraffickingSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — U.S. officials say they seized almost two tons of cocaine from a Panama-flagged cargo ship in international waters off Puerto Rico. U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez says Coast Guard officers boarded the vessel as part of a multi-agency investigation of South American drug traffickers operating in the Caribbean. They found about 4,255 pounds (1,930 kilograms) of cocaine hidden on the ship, which was loaded with coal and had launched from Colombia. Rodriguez-Velez said Wednesday that the ship's 10 crew members — including citizens of Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, Nicaragua and Spain — are in federal custody. Panama has one of the largest ship registries in the world due to low fees and limited oversight.
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FBI Arrests Crossett Educator in Connection with Texas Drug Traffickers

Drug TraffickingAshley County Ledger (Second update) Federal Bureau of Investigations agents, assisted by the Crossett Police Department, arrested a Crossett educator at his place of work on Thursday, September 25. Little Rock FBI office media coordinator Steve Frazier said that officers arrested Marshall Kelley, 46, at the Norman Middle School before school started on Thursday. The Norman Middle School web site lists Kelley as director of instruction. The United States attorney for the Western District of Texas, based in Austin, Johnny Sutton, announced in a press release Thursday afternoon that federal, state and local law enforcement officers arrested 18 members of the Escamilla drug trafficking organization for conspiring to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, more than five kilograms of cocaine and over 100 kilograms of marijuana and in the Austin, San Antonio, and Junction, Texas, areas. (more)
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776 Kilo Drug Bust in a Container in France Field, Colon

Drug TraffickingBy Mirna Ospino for the Panama America - A large drug seizure happened yesterday in the Colon Free Zone thanks to an operation coordinated between the Specialized Anti Drug Department, the Anti Drug Prosecutor's office, and the Security Department of the Colon Free Trade Zone. In the area of France Field, in the Colon Free Trade Zone, cocaine was found in a container located in an area operated by Almacenajes Interoceánicos. (Note: The article said authorities did not specify the amount of drugs seized, but on the news last night they said it was 776 kilos. In addition, so far in 2008 Panamanian law enforcement authorities have seized more than 40 tons of cocaine.)
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Police Bust 697 Kilos of Coke

Drug TraffickingLa Prensa - Panamanian National police and anti drug authorities seized yesterday 697 kilos of cocaine (in 34 coats) and and undetermined amount of heroin that was being transported in two 4x4 vehicles near San Carlos, announced police sources. According to early reports, the drugs had been loaded in the vehicles from a speedboat by the beach at Lagomar, and the four occupants of the vehicles managed to escape in the brush when the police arrived. The anti drug prosecutor's office ordered the transfer of the automobiles with the drugs to the police station in Ancon because it was too dangerous to inspect and inventory the drugs in that remote location.
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Three Seizures, 1,269 Kilos of Coke, In Just One Week

Drug TraffickingBy José Otero for La Prensa - Panamanian National Police made the third cocaine seizure in less than a week in the province of Panama yesterday, bringing total cocaine seizures for just this week to a total of 1,269 kilos. At dawn on Thursday police officers monitoring vehicle traffic along the Inter American Highway near Felipino de Pacora seized 305 kilos of cocaine. The drugs were hidden in a white Toyota Four Runner with license plate 144626, which was driving at excessive speeds along the shoulders of the road and passing other cars, which is why officers ordered the driver to stop which he ignored. A police pursuit began, culminating with the capture of the vehicle but the occupants managed to flee and avoid capture. This Wednesday, in another operation, authorities seized 514 kilos of cocaine in a 4x4 SUV driven by Colombian Yarli Colorado, 32 years old, who had entered the country just ten days earlier. Last Sunday the PN seized 450 kilos of cocaine hidden in a 4X4 in San Miguelito.
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Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2009

Drug TraffickingPresidential Determination No. 2008-28 MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE. SUBJECT: Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2009. Pursuant to section 706(1) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-228) (FRAA), I hereby identify the following countries as major drug transit or major illicit drug producing countries: Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela. A country's presence on the Majors List is not necessarily an adverse reflection of its government's counternarcotics efforts or level of cooperation with the United States. Consistent with the statutory definition of a major drug transit or drug producing country set forth in section 481(e)(2) and (5) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA), one of the reasons that major drug transit or illicit drug producing countries are placed on the list is the combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to transit or be produced despite the concerned government's most assiduous enforcement measures. (more)
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Police Seize 514 Kilos Of Cocaine In Routine Traffic Stop

Drug TraffickingBy William Sala for La Prensa - The Panamanian National Police seized more than a half ton of cocaine yesterday morning, discovered inside of a 4x4 SUV being driven by Colombian Yarli Colorado, 32 years old, according to a judicial source. Colorado entered the country just ten days ago. Police chased and intercepted the vehicle near the old Panama Viejo bus stop, next to the Balboa commercial center in Parque Levevre, said the source. Colorado was driving white Toyota Prado, license plate 406437, containing 19 sacks filled with 514 kilos of cocaine. The packages were marked with two kinds of logos - one with the red letters 3M and the others with the letters NCN. On one of the packages there was a painting of a Colombian flag and a sign with the phrase "We Support Colombian Industry." This drug seizure came about because a motorcycle police unit noticed that the rear tires of the vehicle were inflated below normal. Colorado, upon realizing that he was caught, tried to bribe the officers with $5,000 dollars which they refused. In the vehicle police also found two cellular phones, 20,000 Colombian pesos, a necklace, a bracelet, a ring and a Tissot watch. (Comments)
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Panama Must Remilitarize to Strengthen Regional Security

Drug Trafficking(mexidata.info) By Jerry Brewer - Panama's pivotal role within Latin America, as it pertains to its homeland security, has now reached a crescendo. After all, the unique geographical position of the isthmus nation makes it the hub and gateway from South to Central America. The importance, strategic location, and security of the Panama Canal also call for critical attention. The neutering of Panama's military and security forces nearly two decades ago has ultimately unleashed a flood of criminal insurgents into and traversing the country. Panama's leadership must immediately focus their vision on regional security issues, and quickly and clearly come into focus on a proactive and aggressive homeland security posture. Avoiding the issue and failing to address the security readiness and unity of the democratic nation to adequately defend itself could result in what Mexico is experiencing in its bloody military battle against narco terrorists and other criminal insurgents. (more)
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30 Kilos of Cocaine Seized in Panama City Car Chase

Drug Trafficking Panama America - National police units seized 30 kilos of cocaine in the sector of Torrijos Carter in the district of San Miguelito. The seizure happened after a high speed chase that ended when the vehicle in which the suspects were traveling overturned into a ditch. Inside of the white Hyundai, license plate 451693, were 18 packages containing 30 kilos of cocaine valued at $500,000 dollars. Witnesses said suspects in another vehicle opened fire against this vehicle, which is why police presume this was a case of someone trying to steal the drugs. Police officers realized an intense operation in the area in an attempt to locate and arrest the suspects who were traveling in the car when it crashed, as they escaped on foot.
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Police Seize 720 Kilos of Cocaine in Coclé de Norte

Drug TraffickingBy Delfia Cortez and Meredith Serracín for the Panama America - The National Police of Colón together with the Specialized Anti Drug prosecutor seized 720 kilos of cocaine in the sector of Coclé de Norte, Colón province, as part of "Operation Chiquero." Along with the seized drugs, six people were arrested, four Panamanians and two Colombians. In addition three boats were seized, one 9 mm pistol, and 30 tanks each containing 55 gallons of gasoline. During the operation there was an exchange of gunfire between those guarding the drugs and police units, one person was injured. The seized cocaine was taken in 24 sacks to Club Náutico in Colón and later transferred to Panama City.
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Latin American Media See Mexico as New Drug King

Drug TraffickingBy Teo Ballvé for New America Media - BOGOTÁ, Colombia — Drug-related violence that has wracked some Latin American countries for decades is now lapping at the U.S. shores of the Rio Grande. In response to a government crackdown, rival Mexican drug cartels that have been engaged in internecine bloody turf wars for years have now ruthlessly turned their guns on Mexican government security forces. In a daring killing last May, gunmen assassinated Edgar Millán, Mexico’s national police chief—the highest-ranking officer killed so far. Mexican narco-violence has claimed 6,000 lives in the past two and a half years, and reports suggest the drug cartels have successfully infiltrated local government bodies and law enforcement agencies. (more)
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Huge Multi-Ton Cocaine Bust in Dos Mares Worth $288 Million

Drug Trafficking La Critica - Four Colombians in possession of 2,881 kilos (6,351 pounds or more than three tons) of cocaine were captured by the National Police. The arrests were the result of a police operation called "Operation Infierno (Hell)" that was executed in the luxury Pacific Hills condominiums in Panama City's exclusive Dos Mares neighborhood. Police arrested Jean Carlos Amaya Solis, Luis Alberto Arenas and Maira Alejandra Rubio Echeverri, all 29 years-old, and José Uriel Loaisa Montoya, 34 years old. (See Comments) (Photo Credit: Hermes González / EPASA)
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Poice Seize Four AK-47's and Arrest Four Colombians

Drug Trafficking By William Sala for La Prensa - Two operations realized by the National Police yesterday resulted in the arrest of four Colombian citizens for weapons and ammunition trafficking, as well as military clothing, said a police source. The first operation occurred in Arraiján where two Colombians were detained and two AK-47's were seized. Later, at a police checkpoint in Tocumen, officers stopped a pickup truck being used by two Colombians to transport vegetables. Underneath the vegetables was an ammunition shipment for AK-47's and camouflage military clothing.
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