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

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

CARIBBEAN / 19 JUL 2012

US authorities arrested over 30 people allegedly belonging to two drug smuggling rings operating out of a Puerto Rico airport,…

CARIBBEAN / 2 FEB 2012

Fighting drug trafficking is one of the few issues where the US and Cuba actually collaborate, albeit on a small…

CARIBBEAN / 18 FEB 2014

Authorities in Guyana have called on international law enforcement bodies to assist them with investigations in the wake of a…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Collaborating on Citizen Security Initiatives

8 JUN 2021

Co-director Steven Dudley worked with Chemonics, a DC-based development firm, to analyze the organization’s citizen security programs in Mexico.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Deepens Its Connections with Universities

31 MAY 2021

A partnership with the University for Peace will complement InSight Crime’s research methodology and expertise on Costa Rica.

THE ORGANIZATION

With Support from USAID, InSight Crime Will Investigate Organized Crime in Haiti

31 MAY 2021

The project will seek to map out Haiti's principal criminal economies, profile the specific groups and actors, and detail their links to elements of the state.

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events - Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…