Navy captures smugglers with 1.7 tonnes of cocaine off Manzanillo

Security forces seized around 1.7 tonnes of cocaine off the coast of Manzanillo, Colima, the Navy Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Marines were assisted by an aircraft to detect the small boat with four passengers about 500 kilometers southeast of Manzanillo port.

The suspects tried to escape after noticing the aircraft and navy boats, sparking a chase. They threw packages into the sea as they fled, but were eventually caught and arrested.

A navy patrol secured the packages thrown overboard by the suspects and found a total of 35 packages containing around 1.7 tonnes of cocaine.

The Navy Ministry said in a statement that the operation was carried out with the collaboration of ships, a helicopter and an interceptor vessel.

Footage shared by the military showed parts of the chase and seizure operation.

Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval detailed the government’s drug seizures in late March in the president’s regular morning news conference. He said 73,834 kilograms of cocaine had been seized during the administration, coming from South and Central America.

While cocaine is transported into Mexico, Cresencio said that synthetic drugs were being produced in laboratories in the country and that 127 labs had been busted by the current administration, mostly in Sinaloa. He added that the base substances for those drugs were arriving via ports on the Pacific, such as Manzanillo.

In the same conference, President López Obrador said the government was considering legalizing “nondestructive drugs with light effects, as is the case with marijuana,” but that an internal agreement hadn’t been struck.

The president put the military in charge of the nation’s ports and customs offices in 2020.

With reports from Milenio

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