Panama, Portobelo: Violent Armed Robbery – January 2019

Robbery and attempted robbery by armed men in a panga on January 13th – as reported by the Caribbean Security and Safety Net.

Published 5 years ago

As reported by CSSN with update 2019-02-02 at cssn-news-update-recent-armed-robbery-events-in-portobelo/

DATE: 2019-01-13 21:30

Country Name: Panama

Location Detail: Portobello

EVENT: Robbery


Stolen Items: Currency, personal electronics

SECURED: Unknown


A private yacht with 3 of 7 crew onboard was approached by 6 men armed with handguns, using the pretence of selling water at 2130 HRS. They boarded aggressively and hit one crew member in the head with a gun and then spent considerable time ransacking the boat, terrorizing the crew that was made to lay on the floor all the while the armed boarders repeatedly yelled “cocaine, cocaine”. Cash, phones, computers and electronics were taken. Jewellery was left behind, no drugs were (found) onboard.

Coincidentally, the yacht’s tender, with the 4 remaining crew returned to the boat, which hastened the thieves’ departure without making further direct contact. A full police report was made, to local police and Aeronaval.

CSSN NOTE: Attempts to board other yachts in the anchorage were made this same night most likely by this same group of armed thieves. One later boarding (the same night) was only deterred when the owner’s large dog made its presence known on deck (see details below).


A panga with 4+ men attempted to board a cruising yacht anchored in the bay at around 2300 HRS (the same night – January 13th). Surprised, the owner came on deck and responded aggressively verbally, and was only able to dissuade the hostile borders when his large, 60 lb. the dog came on deck. Holstered pistols were visible to the captain.

After departing the panga lit up and then attempted to engage with another nearby yacht. The owner spoke Spanish and after much angry yelling, the panga departed. Earlier this same night a cruising yacht was boarded by armed men, and the occupants’ pistol-whipped and robbed at gunpoint (see top report).

Related content


Read and Post Related Comments

Related to following destinations: , ,

Related to the following Cruising Resources:

You must Login or Register to submit comments.