They revealed links between Ecuadorian sailors and drug cartels
Intelligence information revealed by Ecuadorian media shows links between members of the Ecuadorian Navy and drug trafficking groups
A sailor, on active duty, used an Ecuadorian Navy vehicle to mobilize 18 kilos of drugs at the end of 2022 in Ecuador. (Ecuador Police)
A journalistic investigation in Ecuador has managed to determine that there are links between Ecuadorian sailors who participate in cocaine smuggling and even selling information about ongoing military activities, especially in estuaries and on the high seas, to avoid confiscation of fuel. In Ecuador, the police and the navy are working together to identify the sailors and members of the public force that operate in these criminal networks.
According to Ecuadorian and Colombian intelligence sources, officials of the Ecuadorian army, including naval agents, has been recruited by narcoterrorist groups. There is information that the column Urías Rondón, a dissident and mobile of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), had recruited members of the Ecuadorian public force, as revealed by the investigation carried out by the journalist specialized in security, Arturo Torres, and published on the Primicias portal.
According to the publication, the Ecuadorian Navy would have its weakest flank on the coastal province of Esmeraldas, on the border with Colombia. This weakness lies in the alleged links of some of the Ecuadorian sailors with criminal organizations linked to the drug cartels that operate in Ecuador and Colombia, according to the intelligence reports mentioned in the chronicle.
A journalistic investigation revealed that some Ecuadorian sailors had ties to drug trafficking. (National Police)
The organizations that have recruited the Ecuadorian officers are the same Urías Rondón column and the Oliver Sinisterra Front, both in conflict with each other. In fact, confrontations between the two drug-criminal organizations are frequent, such as the most recent armed combat that occurred in November 2022 in border areas with Ecuador. The dispute would have occurred over the corridors for transportation, plantations, and cocaine processing laboratories. This war forced the members of the Sinisterra Front to withdraw to Ecuadorian territory, where they met with agents of the Ecuadorian Army who have blocked their way, according to Torres.
The Sinisterra Front is partner of the Sinaloa cartel, while column Urías Rendón is associated with the Jalisco Nueva Generación cartel. The dispute between the two transnational crime organizations has consequences in Ecuador, where it has been possible to determine that many uniformed men from the Navy, the Army and the Police operate for the two groups, according to information gathered from wiretaps carried out from Colombia.< /p>
According to the Unit to Fight Organized Crime of the National Police(ULCO) and intelligence officers from the Navy itself, collected in Primicias, those involved transport cocaine by land with institutional vehicles, simulating deliveries from their work units. Added to this are cases of cocaine theft and information leaks to criminal organizations operating at sea, particularly in the Galapagos Islands.
Last year, authorities investigated the activities of an organization that transported drugs produced in laboratories in the Colombian provinces of Nariño and Putumayo. The substances arrived packaged in Ecuador where they were also transported by land to the coastal provinces of Manabí and Guayas to be sent through their seaports.
Drugs trafficked from Ecuador are often hidden in export containers at the ports of Guayaquil. (National Police).
In Guayas, cocaine is hidden in sea containers at the port of Guayaquil. During monitoring, it turned out that the organization would include active members of the Ecuadorian Armada. It is confirmed that this criminal group used official Navy vehicles to transport cocaine from Esmeraldas to Guayaquil. They collect the drug in clandestine warehouses located in the seaport of Contecom in the south of Guayaquil. According to information from the National Police, this port is where the most drugs have been seized.
The Primicias investigation revealed that on December 1, 2022, Navy Coast Guard Corporal Jonathan Javier Gómez Coime, traveled in an official Navy vehicle to Lago Agrio, where he loaded cocaine. Gómez then arrived at Guayas in a Nissan Frontier truck with license plate PEC-8368, a vehicle also marked with the logo of the Ecuadorian Navy. But on December 3, outside the Reclusorio Litoral Penitentiary, police stopped a van driven by Gómez as part of ULCO's Operation Resurge 728.
At the time of his arrest, Gómez Coime was carrying 20 kg of cocaine with him. A naval intelligence officer, who asked not to be named, told Torres that Gomez was just one link in a larger network. Behind this daring maneuver was a mid-level officer who issued a travel permit under the pretext of transporting Navy students.
Inside the vehicle, police found a cardboard box containing 18 rectangular blocks of cocaine with a total weight of 19.8 kg. According to the arrest report, the truck was guarded by a black Chevrolet Aveo type B segment car with license plates GPW-0517, driven by Steven Valencia and Maeby Delgado.< /p>
Some members of the Navy who participated in a drug seizure in Galapagos wanted to market the seized drugs.
The organizations that act as intermediaries of the cartels in Ecuador have an important network of informants in various organizations. This mechanism was discovered in the Ecuadorian Navy during Operation Fleet, coordinated by ULCO and the Navy. Thus, it was established that Cape Christian Reina Bravo he was part of the informant scheme in the Galapagos. His job was to monitor the location of Coast Guard and Maritime Control officers. With access to this classified information, Reina dedicated herself to making it available to members of criminal organizations and cartels. The objective was to facilitate the transport of cocaine from the mainland coast, as well as from the Galapagos Islands, in ultra-fast boats and destined for Central America or Mexico.
The staff of the National Directorate of Crimes against Life, Violent Deaths, Disappearances, Extortion and Kidnappings (Dinased) found Reina's headless body wrapped in plastic. Reina's wallet was found buried 50 meters away, along with the ammunition from the bullet that was used to kill him. Today, Gómez and Valencia, according to Primicias, have prison orders for this case. It has not yet been possible to determine who the other members of this network are.