A recent high-seas drug bust in Caribbean waters 150 miles off Nicaragua’s northeastern coast demonstrates how Russia is helping the Nicaraguan Navy to patrol its newly acquired maritime territory won from Colombia in last year’s world court ruling.
The drug bust, executed by the Nicaraguan Navy with intelligence provided from Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN), captured more than 116 kilograms of cocaine smuggled through Caribbean waters 36 nautical miles northeast of the Colombian island of Quitasueño.
The narco intercept, which occurred the night of April 4 as part of “Operation Sovereignty,” is perhaps Nicaragua’s farthest-reaching drug bust to date. It occurred in waters that were awarded to Nicaragua in last November’s ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which Colombia still refuses to recognize.
“Organized crime has been operating in this zone and we are there permanently; this bust demonstrates the long arm of our sovereignty in our waters,” said Army spokesman Colonel Orlando Palacios.
The navy recovered an abandoned go-fast boast and 116 kilos of the drugs that were pitched overboard (the army presumes the rest of the drugs floated away). The smugglers apparently escaped on a second boat that was there to make the handoff, according to the military’s report to local media.