The National Aeronaval Service of Panama has added the logistics support vessel L-403 to its fleet, a unit that will reinforce the security strategy to combat drug trafficking, organized crime and delinquency, President Juan Carlos Varela said today at a ceremony in which he participated.
"This barge has the capacity to strengthen the maritime blockades that we have to do between the Punta Coco naval base and the Piña Base and the Jaqué barracks, Pacific routes that are used by drug traffickers," Varela said of the ship at who was named "President Manual Amador Guerrero”.
The ship, which was manufactured by the Dutch company Damen and moved from Vietnam to the Central American country, cost more than 16 million dollars, according to the information of the aeronautical entity.
The acquisition of 725 tons, has 57.27 meters of length, 12 of beam and 3.90 of draft and can move a maximum load of 590 tons and sail at a speed of 10 knots.
In addition, it has two containers with water purification systems, two centers for first aid that include operating rooms; it has an electric power generation unit and others for the storage of fuel.
The ship with capacity for more than 25 passengers, including the crew, will carry out specific missions, among them: transfer of personnel in island areas, cargo of equipment, food supplies, assistance and humanitarian support.
Panama seized at least 84.6 tons of drugs in 2017, mostly cocaine, a record number according to official data released in December of that year by the Minister of Public Security, Alexis Bethancourt.
So far this year, the National Aeronaval Service has seized 6,356 packages of illicit substances, according to official information.