Police seized 2.5 tons of cocaine and a large amount of cash in three operations in different parts of Colombia, arresting 16 suspects, President Juan Manuel Santos said.

National Police officers seized 2.5 tons of cocaine during a joint operation with the U.S. Navy on Monday in an unspecified location in the Pacific region.

"As you well know, this is a good bit of what feeds the gangs, the criminals," Santos told reporters during a security meeting in Maicao, a city in the northern province of La Guajira.

The National Police deserves to be congratulated "because it conducted an operation in Santa Marta, where it dismantled a structure of the Urabeños (gang), 16 of its members were captured by the police," Santos said.

The Urabeños gang is involved in drug trafficking, kidnappings and contract killings, officials said.

The navy, meanwhile, seized a large amount of cash being transported in a speedboat near the Caribbean island of San Andres, Santos said.

"It is my understanding that, as of now, from what they've been able to tell us, they have confiscated $300,000," the president said. EFE