Caribbean Corridor Strike Force seizes approximately $8.5 million in cash, arrests four Colombians

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF) special agents and officers here arrested four Colombians and seized approximately $8.5 million in U.S. currency Monday.

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane detected a suspicious go-fast vessel departing Panama while patrolling Caribbean international waters June 21, and launched a helicopter to further investigate the vessel.

The Coast Guard helicopter crew used warning shots and disabling fire to bring the vessel to a halt after the go-fast operator failed to stop as ordered.

The crew of the helicopter was able to observe the crewmembers of the go-fast boat throwing multiple bails into the water, which were later recovered revealing approximately $8.5 million in cash.

The four Colombian crewmembers of the go-fast vessel were detained and brought to t Coast Guard Base San Juan, Puerto Rico, where CCSF agents arrested them for failure to heave as instructed by the Coast Guard, and they seized the approximately $8.5 million for further investigation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico agreed to prosecute all four crewmembers.

The Caribbean Corridor Strike Force investigates South American-based drug trafficking organizations responsible for the movement of multi-kilogram quantities of narcotics utilizing the Caribbean as a transshipment point for further distribution to the United States. The initiative is comprised of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Coast Guard.

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