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Four cops snagged in anti-drug bust


AN ANTI-DRUG operation in  Don Bosco district of Juan Diaz has snagged at least  four police officers are under investigation after being caught in an anti-drug operation.

Police Director, Omar Pinzón, confirmed that they are several agents with files opened by Directorate of Professional Responsibility (DRP) “The agents were placed under the orders of the competent authorities to demarcate responsibilities, while in the DRP a disciplinary process was initiated against them, ” said   a press release.



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Drug trafficking cop suspects walk streets

Police sergeant and wife leave court
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FOUR  police officers and three civilians said belonging to a drug trafficking network and facing drug, money laundering, corruption of officials and conspiracy charges are free to walk the streets with orders to report three times a week.

They were released after a probate hearing late Friday, May 4.

Their arrest followed nearly 18 months of investigation by the First and Second Prosecutor’s Offices in joint operations with the National Police Sensitive Unit leading to the seizure of drugs and cash.

On December 19, 2016, 300 packages of cocaine were seized, from a Prado,

Another  155 packages were seized from a second Prado in Antón in the province of Coclé on February 1, 2017.

On February 23, 2017, after a continuous surveillance, agents tracked a woman in a ‘Mini Cooper’, in  San Francisco. ‘Linces’ (motorcycle patrol police)  arrested her and seized $49,700 dollars in cash.

On March 10, 2017, 110 cocaine packages were seized, from a Kia  Sorrento in Santiago.

The accused are Carlos Rivera Mojica, (taxi driver), Edwin Jiménez Castillo, police corporals  Jahan Castro Diego,  Diógenes Sánchez García, and Anel Caballero Rodríguez,  and police lieutenant  Alexis Martínez Castillo, and Digna Morantes de Batista, wife of Sgt. Carlos Batista Morantes, who was detained in Chiriqui and allegedly head of the network.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Mrs. Digna Morantes has an account in a local bank with a balance  of $119,486.47



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Charged crooked cops ruling appealed

Free to roam
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The Public Ministry (MP) has appealed a  Chiriqui judge ’s decision to allow a group of police officers charged with international drug smuggling to walk the streets while awaiting trial on charges that could see them jailed for years if found guilty.

Four members of the National Police and three civilians were arrested as part of an 18-month undercover investigation.

They are linked to a criminal structure moving drugs from Panama to CostaRica, with police units at a  checkpoint in Guabalá, Chiriquí, allowing the passage of vehicles with illicit substances in exchange for money paid to them by drug traffickers.

At the hearing of guarantees on Thursday, May 3, to legalize the requests for apprehension, imputation of charges and the provisional detention of the seven people, charges for drug trafficking, the illicit association for delinquency and corruption of public servants were imputed to three corporals and a second lieutenant of the National Police. Charges of international traffic of drugs and illicit association to commit a crime were also laid and one was charged with money laundering.

The judge of guarantees of the first judicial circuit of Panama, Karolina Santamaría, decided that the accused could return to their homes and report on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, as well as the prohibition on leaving the district where they live, due to the fact that they have work and domiciliary roots.

The judge supported such measure by virtue of the said that, in her opinion, there is no danger of escape or destruction of evidence.

She also denied the separation of the police officers’ from their jobs.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the second superior drug prosecutor, Eduardo De La Torre, announced the appeal.

The investigation began in  December 2016 and led to the seizure of 615 kilos of cocaine and $168,000.



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