Argentina: Gendarmerie Seizes More Than 4 Tons of Marijuana
By Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo September 30, 2021
The Argentine National Gendarmerie seized more than 4 tons of marijuana in less than 2 weeks. On September 13, 2021, during an operation in the city of Corrientes, Corrientes Squadron 48 seized more than 500 kilograms of the drug.
Agents were conducting routine controls in the Punta Taitalo neighborhood when they saw a suspicious pickup truck. Upon noticing the presence of security forces, the driver accelerated in an attempt to flee. Immediately, agents managed to intercept the vehicle.
“At the time of the inspection, the gendarmes saw in plain sight a large number of packages in the vehicle’s bed and back seats,” the Gendarmerie reported in a statement. The bales contained 473 rectangular packages with an herbal substance on the inside. The gendarmes also found 29 packages of marijuana buds.
“The NarcoTest field test resulted positive for cannabis sativa, weighing a total of 536 kg,” the Gendarmerie said. The Argentine newspaper República de Corrientes reported that the drug had come from Paraguay.
On September 2, gendarmes intercepted a truck carrying 3,980 kg of marijuana, hidden in a false bottom, in Misiones province. The operation began when agents of Posadas Squadron 50 received an anonymous phone call warning about drugs stored in a warehouse, near the roundabout of National Roads 105 and 12.
“With the collaboration of local security units, [the gendarmes] began surveillance of a shed and in sectors near National Road 105,” the Argentine news portal MinutoUno reported. “Also on September 2, they noticed a vehicle with a semi-trailer entering the premises. An hour later, the vehicle left and took Road 105, bound for Posadas,” MinutoUno added.
The Gendarmerie then deployed two operations: one targeting the truck, which they intercepted on Road 12, and another at the farm where the shed was located. “When service members inspected the body of the vehicle, they noticed recent welds and new rivets in the front part of the trailer,” the force indicated.
With a mobile scanner, agents identified rectangular packages in the false bottom at the front of the thermal box. To check the truck seat, the agents had the support of Gringo, a drug sniffing dog. “[The dog] reacted as he usually does in the presence of narcotics and confirmed the suspicion,” the Gendarmerie said.
Officers dismantled the semi-trailer’s false bottom and found 156 large bundles covered with black nylon. “The Criminalistics and Forensic Studies personnel determined that the vehicle was carrying 3,980 kg of cannabis sativa, distributed in 3,904 rectangular packages,” the Gendarmerie said.