Interpol St. Maarten participates operation Lionfish2, in Central America and the Caribbean nets almost 30 tonnes of drugs

Collective action of member countries and partners targets drugs an firearms trafficking

More that 27,5 tonnes of drugs have been seized in Operation Lionfish 2, an Interpol-led initiative targeting the illicit trafficking of drugs and firearms by organized crime groups across Central America and the Caribbean. The seized drugs included cocaine, cannabis, XTC and heroin, with the cocaine haul valued at almost USD 1.3 billion.

Drawing on extensive coordination, groundwork and resources provided by 39 countries and territories across the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe, the two week operation ( 1-14 December) further resulted in the arrest of 422 suspects. Some 7.6 tonnes of chemical precursors, 100 weapons and USD 2.2 million in cash was also seized.

With Interpol Units providing coordination on the ground, Interpol’s Regional Bureau in El Salvador and the Octris office in Martinique provided real time support for information exchange and facilitated cross-checking of data against Interpol’s global database.

Operation Lionfish 2 included the following countries and territories: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Belgium, Bermuda, Bolivia, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, St. Maarten, Spain, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela.

The unit of Interpol St. Maarten participated in the operation by coordinating the cooperation between the Information Unit of the Police Force, the Customs, the Coastguard, the Immigration and Border Protection Service and the RST.
The cooperation between these St. Maarten law enforcement agencies was experienced as positive and proved that cooperation between the local agencies can be quick and effective.
The participation of Interpol St. Maarten resulted in, the seizure of fire arms, a package with an undisclosed amount of XTC pills and the arrest of illegal foreigners trying to enter St. Maarten with false passports. Considered more important in the participation was the sharing of valuable information in support of the actions by the other member states.