Local July 5, 2012 | 7:40 am

Drones to soon patrol Dominican skies for drugs, eldia.com.do reports

SANTO DOMINGO.- Drones will soon patrol Dominican Republic skies for drug traffickers, as U.S. specialists currently train local personnel in the technology previously used only in military operations.

The unmanned aircraft aim is to detect boats in the Caribbean Sea carrying drugs from South America.

The U.S. Homeland Security Dept. will use the same technology in Puerto Rico to halt the smuggling of drugs into its territory, where several tests have been conducted, eldia.com.do last week reports. It said the technology is similar to that now in use by the U.S. along its border with Mexico.

Citing sources eldia.com.do close to the operation, it said the aircraft would be used to patrol the entire Caribbean Sea, for which Dominican Republic would be included in the training program to operate the technology.

Officials from both countries confirmed that the drone’s mission is maritime surveillance, as major drug cartels increasingly turn to that route after heightened surveillance over the skies of the Caribbean islands, especially Dominican Republic.

The drones deployed in Puerto Rico would patrol over the Mona Passage while the Dominican team would watch the vast waters which separate it from Venezuela and Colombia.

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