$822 Million in Drugs Seized
Drugs with an estimated worth of $822 million have been seized in an operation targeting trafficking of drugs and illicit firearms by organized crime groups across Central America and the Caribbean, Interpol reports.
Nearly 30 tons of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana were seized in 34 countries and territories in Operation Lionfish. There were 142 arrests and the seizures of 15 vessels, eight tons of chemical precursors, 42 guns and $170,000 in cash.
The Interpol-led operation was coordinated by the Regional Bureau for Central America in El Salvador and the Drugs and Criminal Organizations Unit at the General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France.
The massive seizures were not Interpol’s only goal. Operation Lionfish sought to enhance information sharing regionally and internationally in order to improve intelligence, routes, and identification of organized crime figures.
“This operation demonstrates the importance of Interpol’s global tools and network,” said Saul Hernandez Lainez, head of Interpol’s Regional Bureau in El Salvador.
The operation was held as part of Interpol’s Capacity Building Program on Organized Crime for the Americas, under which 161 officers from 36 countries underwent specialist training in order to combat organized crime and drug trafficking.
Interpol’s Director of Capacity Building and Training Dale Sheehan said: “These results testify to the increasing relevance of capacity building programs as essential pillars for international law enforcement cooperation.”