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Colombia Announces Record Cocaine Seizure
10 November 2017, 01:09 | Terri Saunders
Colombia makes biggest cocaine bust ever
The cocaine, with a USA market value estimated by Santos at about of $360 million, was found stored underground on four farms in a banana-growing region of northwest Antioquia province, near Colombia's border with Panama.
"Thanks to a police operation with overseas intelligence, from friendly countries, the largest seizure in history was made", Santos said, according to Reuters.
The drugs, worth $360 million, belonged to the Clan of the Gulf and were seized from four separate sites, according to NPR.
Four people were arrested in connection with Wednesday's bust, NPR said.
In addition to drugs, the gang deals in illegal mining and most of its estimated 1,500 members formerly served in the ranks of right-wing paramilitary groups.
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Colombia has claimed its biggest ever cocaine haul - and put the whole 12 tons on display. The bust was part of a bigger operation that so far has seized 362 tons of cocaine in 2017.
Earlier this year, a report from the U.N.'s Office on Drugs and Crimes found the country's coca cultivation areas increased by more than 50 percent from 2015 to 2016.
Colombia's largest cocaine seizure in over a decade is a blow to the Urabeños criminal group and illustrates the impact of the government's crackdown on the group, which is being carried out in the Urabeños' traditional stronghold and could have ripple effects throughout Colombia's criminal landscape.
Colombian drug traffickers have played a major role in the cocaine trade since the 1970s in spite of ongoing global efforts to counter the illicit business.
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