HomeNewsBrief'Biggest Caribbean drug lab' busted in Dominican Republic
BRIEF

'Biggest Caribbean drug lab' busted in Dominican Republic

CARIBBEAN / 2 SEP 2013 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

Authorities in the Dominican Republic have discovered a drug lab described as the largest ever found in the Caribbean, supporting suggestions that the Caribbean is increasing in importance again for drug traffickers responding to anti-drug efforts in Central America.

Police uncovered the underground cocaine laboratory, including 230 kilograms of cocaine, on the grounds of an upmarket property in the country's southern San Cristobal municipality, reported El Nuevo Diario.

The property was owned by two Colombians, John Jairo Roldan Estrada and Angel Fernandez Vargas, arrested and imprisoned last week following an initial raid by Dominican authorities, which had identified the men following an investigation into micro-trafficking on the island, reported El Nacional.

While the Dominican Republic's status as a major transshipment point saw the DEA to previously describe it as a "warehouse" for US-bound drugs, as El Nuevo Diario highlights, this is the first time a foreign criminal group has been discovered processing drugs in the country.

InSight Crime Analysis

The uncovering of a major drug production lab in the Dominican Republic is momentous, but not surprising. As repeatedly stated by Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield, the Caribbean is becoming an increasingly important location in international drug trafficking, as anti-narcotics efforts in other countries have led to the migration of criminal activity. There are various reasons why the Dominican Republic would make an appealing location for Colombians to set up a major drugs lab.

Firstly, precursor chemicals are easier to get hold of, following the crackdown on said chemicals in Colombia as highlighted by the State Department in its 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report. Secondly, sending the raw material to be processed elsewhere ensures smaller losses should shipments be intercepted - cocaine base is worth less than the finished product. Finally, the island suffers from corruption and inefficiency in both law enforcement and its judiciary.

The discovery in recent years of drug processing labs in Central America has also highlighted the migration of drug production into new regions.

 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 21 SEP 2022

Trinidad and Tobago's homicide rate has past 400 for the year and authorities appear unable to stop it.

CARIBBEAN / 3 JUN 2022

Gangs in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince are rounding up homeless and at-risk teens, who are increasingly being used as…

CARIBBEAN / 19 SEP 2022

Dominican officials have banned 12 Haitian gang leaders and one of its top politicians from entering the country.

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…