PANAMA CITY – Panama’s naval air service seized 2.69 tons of cocaine, supplies and military equipment in the Atlantic city of Colon and arrested a Colombian linked to the illegal shipment, officials said.
The drug bust occurred Tuesday in the Puerto Pilon section of Colon, where a speedboat carrying four suspected drug traffickers crashed into a waterfront home during a chase by naval air service members.
A search of the 14-meter (45-foot) speedboat turned up several bales of cocaine.
Three of the suspects managed to escape, but officers arrested a Colombian.
A child inside the house was injured, officials said.
This is the largest drug seizure made this year in Panama, Public Safety Minister Jose Raul Mulino told reporters.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that 15 people have been arrested north of Veraguas (a city located west of the capital) for having links to drug trafficking and (that) this exact shipment of hoods, knives and military equipment was apparently destined for these people, Mulino said.
The security forces will continue monitoring both Panama’s Atlantic and Pacific waters, using naval air stations to fight traffickers moving drugs through smuggling routes in these regions, the minister said.
Authorities have seized some 3.5 tons of cocaine so far in July, Colon province anti-drug prosecutor Franklin Amaya said.