Officials in the Dominican Republic seized more than 1.5 tons of cocaine bound for the United States, bringing the total amount of cocaine seized in the country in the past four months to nearly 5 tons.
Dominican officials announced that a joint operation with US drug officials had resulted in the seizure of more than 1.5 tons of cocaine, which had apparently originated in Colombia.
According to a press release from the country's National Drug Control Directorate (DNCD), the shipment was being transported in two speedboats that were intercepted 50 miles south of the Dominican Republic's Saona Island. Officials arrested four individuals in the operation as well.
DNCD officials also announced that, including this latest seizure, they had intercepted 4.8 tons of cocaine in the past four months alone, a fact that was chalked up to coordination with US anti-drug agents as well as better law enforcement intelligence.
InSight Crime Analysis
The rash of recent cocaine seizures in the Dominican Republic could illustrate a potentially alarming trend in the region. Dominican authorities have previously blamed drug trafficking in the country on foreign criminal groups, and analysts and policymakers alike have become increasingly concerned about the prospect of hemispheric drug traffickers shifting their trade to the Caribbean.
US authorities have warned that increased crackdowns on trafficking in Mexico and Central America could cause drug networks to shift through the Caribbean, and a recent spike in drug-related violence has seemingly confirmed this.