Panama makes record seizures of drugs in 2021, ministry says
PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – Panama made record drugs seizures in 2021, confiscating some 126 tonnes of contraband, chiefly cocaine, the security ministry of the Central American country said on Sunday.
This year’s haul compared with 81.7 tonnes in 2020, 86.8 tonnes in 2019 and 76.8 tonnes in 2018, the ministry said in a statement. In the process, Panamanian authorities confiscated more than $12 million in cash and arrested 710 people, it added.
Among the seizures made on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, as well as in airports, the national naval air service impounded 86,332 packages of drugs, national police 29,525, and the national border authority 11,011, the government said.
The province where officials made the biggest haul, mostly in containers, was Colon in northern central Panama, with 50 tonnes, followed by the western border region of Chiriqui with 20 tonnes and Panama province with 18 tonnes, the ministry said.
(Reporting by Milagro Vallecillos; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)