Operation Lionfish results in 142 arrests

Targeting the maritime trafficking of drugs and illicit firearms by organised crime groups across Central America and the Caribbean, Interpol’s Operation Lionfish resulted in the seizure of nearly 30 tonnes of cocaine, heroin and marijuana worth almost US$1 billion. 

Under the umbrella of the Interpol Border Management Programme, the two-week operation (27 May to 10 June 2013), which involved some 34 countries and territories, also resulted in 142 arrests and the seizure of 15 vessels, eight tonnes of chemical precursors, 42 guns and approximately $170,000 in cash. The operation was co-ordinated in response to growing evidence of the involvement of organised crime in the trafficking of drugs and firearms in the Central America and Caribbean regions, due to their strategic location, with a significant increase in the number of cocaine seizures by local authorities, and a reported increase in violent crime. 

Supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development in Canada – and run in partnership with the World Customs Organization and the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council with support from the French Coastguard, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Europol – the joint law enforcement operation was also aimed at enhancing information sharing at regional and international levels. The data shared will improve intelligence on modus operandi, routes and the identification of organised crime structures and key players. 

Capacity-building and training were key elements to ensuring that the relevant expertise and framework necessary for future operations were firmly established across the involved countries, and to ensuring follow-up at the national level. Two operational co-ordination units at the Regional Bureau in El Salvador and the Command Centre of the French West Indies Coastguard in Fort de France, Martinique, provided real-time support for information exchange and checks conducted against Interpol’s global databases. 

The following countries and territories took part in Operation Lionfish: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Grenada, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Sint Maarten, Spain, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Kingdom, United States of America and Venezuela.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Amnesty International