The drug trade has set its sights on the Santa Marianita parish. For the first time, a ship in this sector was detained with drugs at sea.
The Navy reported that the ship “South King” was seized with 23 crew members and 1,500 kilos of cocaine. They also retained a boat that was towed with more than 800 kilos of drugs.
The report of the Navy says that one of the fishermen is of Venezuelan nationality and the rest are Ecuadorians: two natives of Esmeraldas and 20 of Manabi.
The majority of the manabitas crew is from the Santa Marianita parish, and the rest from San Mateo, Los Esteros and Jaramijó. The ship “South King” was registered in the Captaincy of Manta and had left the port on March 20.
According to the report of the Captaincy, he had a permit to set sail for eleven days, and on March 31 he had to arrive at the port with the six fibre boats that he was towing.
The report states that the vessel sailed with 5,929 gallons of fuel and seven crew on board.
An attempt was made to contact the owner of the boat, who lives near the church of Santa Marianita, but did not answer the phone calls.
Capture. The Naval Intelligence agents reported that the vessel was retained by a US Coast Guard on Tuesday, and yesterday handed the crew to the Navy.
The detainees were taken to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, in the Galapagos Islands, where they were prosecuted for the crime of drug trafficking.
José Marcos, captain of Galápagos, informed that the crew was retained in international waters against Central America. “The military carried out the chemical tests, and the result confirmed that it was cocaine hydrochloride. Then a meeting point was coordinated, where the detainees delivered us with 20 kilos of cocaine as evidence of everything found, “said Marcos.
According to the records of the Monitoring System of the Ecuadorian Navy, the 23 fishermen left from the Port of Manta. Now the authorities seek to establish if the drug also left from Manta or was embarked at sea.
The investigations determined that the boats of the ship “South King” possibly operated as floating gas stations, which supply fuel to other vessels that carry more drugs to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Raúl Calderón Santamaría, director in charge of the Galapagos Aquatic Spaces, said that the detainees were handed over to the police to be taken to prison.
The official maintained that the drug was destined for Central America, and they are corroborating various information to determine exactly which country was going to receive the merchandise. The prosecutor’s investigation also seeks to establish to which cartel the illegal merchandise belonged.
The fishermen will be sent to El Rodeo prison in Portoviejo.
The Navy reported that the drug was tracked by drug traffickers with a satellite buoy, whose device has a global network coverage, which allowed to see the route that the fishermen made during the crossing until they reached their final destination.
The authorities did not disclose the cost of the seizure.
Source: El Diario