Shipment company

US and Cape Verdean authorities interdict large shipment of cocaine

U.S. Sailors, Coast Guardsmen and Marines embarked aboard the U.S. Navy Expeditionary Seabase USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4), with support from Interpol’s Environmental Security Program, assisted the Cabo Verde authorities to interdict a vessel smuggling approximately 6,000 kilograms of suspected cocaine.

As part of the African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP), the joint and combined U.S.-Cape Verde team worked April 1 in coordination with the Maritime Analysis and Operations Center – Narcotics (MAOC-N) and the National Maritime Operations Center of Cape Verde (COSMAR) to carry out a compliant boarding of a fishing vessel flying the Brazilian flag operating in international waters of the Atlantic Ocean near the coast west of Africa.

Under Cabo Verde’s jurisdiction, United States and Cabo Verdean law enforcement boarded and inspected the vessel, seizing approximately 6,000 kilograms of suspected cocaine with an estimated street value of over $350 million. Seven people were taken into custody by Cape Verdean law enforcement during the anti-drug operation, the US Navy announced on April 7.

The U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard have a close relationship with Cabo Verde, as well as a bilateral law enforcement agreement, to support the fight against illicit maritime activity in the waters surrounding the archipelago, said Marine.

“This operation is an excellent example of a strong and mutually beneficial partnership between the governments of the United States and Cabo Verde,” said Vice Admiral Steven Poulin, Commander of the Atlantic Zone of the United States Coast Guard. “Bilateral agreements like this allow the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, and other agencies to work alongside partner nations to address their unique and shared challenges through a collaborative effort.”

“The United States has a long-standing commitment to helping African states meet their maritime domain security challenges,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Gregory Anderson, director of operations for US Africa. Command. “Our long-term partnerships with African states, including Cabo Verde, are essential to address threats such as terrorism, illicit trafficking and piracy, and to build capacity in the region to ensure security and long-term stability.

Over the past decade, the U.S. Navy said it has steadily increased maritime security cooperation with its partners on the Atlantic coast of Africa to improve maritime domain awareness to help them protect their sovereign waters.

U.S. Tri-Maritime Services regularly work with African partners to build their capacity to counter illicit activities at sea. Last month, Cabo Verde participated in the U.S.-led Exercise Obangame Express 22, which is the largest multinational maritime exercise designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness (MDA), information sharing practices and tactical interdiction expertise in West Africa.

“West African countries face serious challenges at sea, including illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, as well as drug trafficking,” said Rear Admiral Anthony Carullo, Director of Operations , US Naval Forces Africa. “Illicit activities in the maritime domain jeopardize the economic development of the entire African continent. This successful ban sends a clear message that West African countries are ready to improve their national and regional prosperity by intercepting and prosecuting illegal activities.