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Police in Venezuela intercept $40-million cocaine shipment bound for Trinidad and Tobago

By Mark Bassant

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A luxury Camaro and a jet ski which members of a drug gang in Venezuela were using to transport cocaine believed destined for Trinidad & Tobago.

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — A co­caine ship­ment with an es­ti­mat­ed street val­ue close to TT$40 mil­lion, which was des­tined for Trinidad and To­ba­go, was in­ter­cept­ed by mem­bers of the Cuer­po de In­ves­ti­ga­ciones Ci­en­tifi­cas Pe­nales Y Crim­i­nal­is­tics (CI­CPC) in Venezuela yes­ter­day. The drugs were hid­den in se­cret com­part­ments of lux­u­ri­ous cars which were trav­el­ling in a car­a­van at the time.

CI­CPIC is Venezuela’s largest po­lice agency re­spon­si­ble for crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions and foren­sic ser­vices.

On his Twit­ter ac­count, CI­CPC di­rec­tor Dou­glas Ri­co tweet­ed the seizure of the 388 kilo­grammes of co­caine and said the sus­pects held were “part of a crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tion called the Se­niors, which are en­gaged in the il­lic­it traf­fick­ing of nar­cot­ic and psy­chotrop­ic sub­stances in the na­tion­al ter­ri­to­ry and to the is­land of Trinidad and To­ba­go.”

Suspects: Jaime Ál­varo Ro­dri­go Pizarro Guer­ra (left) and Alexan­der José Aponte Ramírez (right)

Ri­co said he be­lieved the CI­CPC had “in­fil­trat­ed a crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tion ded­i­cat­ed to traf­fick­ing co­caine to Trinidad and To­ba­go” and had smashed their op­er­a­tion. One kilo­gramme of co­caine can fetch TT$100,000 on the streets.

The bust comes just two days af­ter a Guardian Me­dia ex­clu­sive re­port which re­vealed T&T law en­force­ment in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers were con­cerned that one no­to­ri­ous Venezue­lan gang, Evande, had in­fil­trat­ed lo­cal gangs and was in­volved in the traf­fick­ing of nar­cotics and firearms in­to this coun­try. Based on the in­for­ma­tion lo­cal law en­force­ment agen­cies ob­tained, sev­er­al hun­dred mem­bers of Evande are here and had em­bed­ded them­selves with lo­cal gangs and sought jobs in the con­struc­tion sec­tor.

A brief re­port car­ried in Venezuela’s El Na­cional, un­der the head­line “Delin­quents used lux­u­ry cars to take drugs to Trinidad and To­ba­go,” yes­ter­day in­di­cat­ed that two men were held along the Puer­to Or­daz-Ma­turin High­way by CI­CPC.

Ri­co, who is al­so quot­ed in the news­pa­per re­port, said Alexan­der José Aponte Ramírez, 48, and Jaime Ál­varo Ro­dri­go Pizarro Guer­ra, 55, were ap­pre­hend­ed in an op­er­a­tion that cov­ered the Puer­to Or­daz-Maturín High­way.

Dur­ing their sweep, two Hum­mer ve­hi­cles, two Chevro­lets, a Mer­cedes Benz SLK 230, Ford Fu­sion and jet ski were searched. In­side the ve­hi­cles, in se­cret com­part­ments, the Venezue­lan po­lice found tight­ly wrapped pack­ages of co­caine in black.

Ri­co al­so point­ed out that the hunt for the main men be­hind this op­er­a­tion, who were in charge of “trans­port­ing and dis­trib­ut­ing the mer­chan­dise to the neigh­bour­ing na­tion,” was still on­go­ing. Po­lice be­lieve the in­tend­ed route of the drug ship­ment to T&T would have en­tailed trans­port­ing it first to Ma­turin, then on­ward to Tu­cu­pi­ta in the state of Delta Amacuro — which has a riv­er net­work that leads out to the At­lantic Ocean. From there, the nec­es­sary arrange­ments would be made by wa­ter to get the ship­ment to this coun­try.

The Orinoco Riv­er is one of the four main rivers used by traf­fick­ers to smug­gle con­tra­band to the south­west­ern penin­su­la of T&T.

The sus­pects — Alexan­der José Aponte Ramírez and Jaime Ál­varo Ro­dri­go Pizarro Guer­ra — were tak­en be­fore the pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice 21 in the pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice in Mon­a­gas on charges of drug traf­fick­ing.

About two weeks ago, a co­caine ship­ment worth close to $120 mil­lion was found hid­den be­neath the Span­ish tanker His­pania Spir­it at the At­lantic Liqui­fied Nat­ur­al Gas port in Point Fortin. Po­lice have not held any­one to date for ques­tion­ing in­to this drug ship­ment.

This article was posted in its entirety as received by This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of, its sponsors or advertisers.

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