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Tuesday, March 20, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the BBC: Panama seizes huge cocaine stash

Panamanian police working with US authorities have made what is believed to be one of the biggest maritime drugs busts ever, Panamanian officials say.

Police and agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized a boat off Panama’s Pacific coast with 19.4 metric tons of cocaine on board.

Previous large hauls include:

Among previous big hauls, the US Coast Guard and US Navy in 2004 found 13 metric tons of cocaine on board two fishing boats off the Galapagos Islands.

In 2001, 13 tons of the drug were seized by the US authorities on board a Belize-flagged vessel off Mexico’s Pacific coast.

With these types of seizures I tend to have two reactions. The first is somewhat flippant: “that’s a lot of blow.” The second is that I figure it won’t be long before the record for largest seizure is again broken.

I always take these types of events, which are technically drug war successes, as evidence that the overall policy isn’t working. If every couple of years larger and larger shipments are seized, all this means is that the drug smugglers are shipping more and more product over time, and that drug enforcement officials are simply lucky enough to catch one. If this 19+ ton was stopped, how many similar shipments weren’t stopped? Likely many, as only a certain percentage of shipments are stopped in the first place.

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Filed under: Latin America, War on Drugs | |

1 Comment

  1. Major drug bust in Panama ( A bad thing? )

    Panamanian police working with US authorities have made what is believed to be one of the biggest maritime drugs busts ever, Panamanian officials say. Police and agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized a boat off Panama’s Pacific

    Trackback by Moonage Political Webdream — Wednesday, March 21, 2007 @ 9:22 am

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