According to the Colombian police, the criminal organization named Los Curva earned more than $2 billion every year in profits by smuggling drugs. This is a representational image. AFP

Colombia and Ecuador issued a joint statement Sunday, revealing that both countries' efforts have resulted in the breakdown of a criminal organization that was smuggling up to five tons of cocaine every month to Europe and the United States.

According to the Colombian police, the criminal organization named Los Curva earned more than $2 billion every year in profits by smuggling drugs. The police operation ran for at least one year to capture Colombian brothers Hader and Dairon Cuero, leaders of the criminal organization.

General Nicolas Zapata of the Colombian National Police said at a joint press conference that "this operation stops the shipment of five tonnes of cocaine per month," Reuters reported.

General William Villarroel, the national director of anti-drug investigations of the Ecuadorean police, said the organization used speedboats to send drugs to Mexico. Furthermore, the group also used Mexico-flagged vessels to smuggle.

Ecuador's Interior Ministry issued a statement on its official website, revealing there were a total of four operations carried out.

The first one arrested three people on Aug. 3, 2022, with 400 kilograms of cocaine and a boat. The second operation arrested two people on Sept. 24, 2022 with drugs and a boat. Similarly, the third operation also caught two people on April 9 with 1,380 kg of cocaine and a boat. The fourth strategic operation was carried out on Aug. 23, arresting 21 people with 945 kg of cocaine, 6 firearms and 396 cartridges.

"This network dedicated to international drug trafficking operated strategically by sea, coordinating Colombian and Ecuadorian citizens on the Ecuadorian coasts. They used boats to transport logistics to points on the high seas, providing support to boats transporting drugs," as per the statement in Spanish [according to Google Translate].

"The delivery of the packages was carried out at specific coordinates to Mexican flag vessels off the coast of Mexico," adding that Los Curva worked with Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel alongside other cartels in Europe's Balkan region.

"This result constitutes a structural blow to drug trafficking organizations that are financed and operate from South America to Mexico, helping to counteract the illicit trafficking of substances to international markets," the statement concluded.

Ecuador's Interior Ministry also took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to share a video of Villarroel addressing the press and alongside the video, it wrote, "During a year of investigations, several operations were carried out that impacted a criminal structure that operated in Ecuador," calling it "Gran Fénix 03" operation.

Last week, Colombia Senator Piedad Córdoba's brother, Álvaro Córdoba, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court for sending 500 grams or more cocaine to New York.

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