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

CARIBBEAN / 22 DEC 2010

In a meeting with U.S. Embassy Officials just months before the extradition of the local drug lord Christopher Coke, alias…

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC / 24 OCT 2018

US authorities arrested two Dominican citizens in connection to a multimillion-dollar fentanyl shipment delivered from Mexico, suggesting that relations between…

CARIBBEAN / 8 OCT 2012

More than 500 Dominican officials have been purged from the country’s police and military in the last five years for…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…

THE ORGANIZATION

Coverage of Fallen Paraguay Prosecutor Makes Headlines

20 MAY 2022

The murder of leading anti-crime prosecutor, Marcelo Pecci, while on honeymoon in Colombia, has drawn attention to the evolution of organized crime in Paraguay. While 17 people have been arrested…