PANAMANIAN police last week seized 80.4 kilos of explosives they said were made in Costa Rica and on their way to Colombia in exchange for a large shipment of cocaine.
Panamanian National Police Commissioner Alvis Santana said that along with 67 rolls of explosives – which weighed 1.2 kilograms each – police also seized 99 electronic detonators. Experts said the explosives were enough to destroy two city blocks.
Erick Karolekee, director of weapons and explosives for the Costa Rican Public Security Ministry, confirmed the explosives were of a type called “Lodex,” manufactured by a Costa Rican company for controlled sale, La Nación reported.
Officials also discovered a shipment of 441 kilos of cocaine in the province of Colón, 70 kilometers northwest of Panama City, which they believe was to be exchanged for the explosives.
In the province of Chiriquí, near the border with Costa Rica, Panamanian police last week also seized a shipment of 687 kilos of cocaine, officials there said.
Ten people were detained during the operations, which were the result of a month-long investigation. Police believe the suspects are part of a gang specializing in exchanging explosives for drugs with Colombian guerillas.