Bolivian Forces Seize More than Half-Ton of Cocaine
By Guillermo Saavedra/Diálogo March 11, 2021
The Bolivian Special Force against Drug Trafficking (FELCN, in Spanish) seized more than half a ton of cocaine and captured 11 people in three operations in the Cochabamba and Beni departments, the institution reported on Facebook.
On January 23, the FELCN announced the results of two operations in Chapare province (Cochabamba), which were prepared with information gathered by the Intelligence Department of the Rural Patrol Mobile Unit (UMOPAR, in Spanish).
The first operation aimed at monitoring the roads to identify suspicious vehicles, the police institution said.
“During the intervention, there was crossfire involving two police officers trying to ambush them, which is why UMOPAR agents had to use their service weapons in self-defense,” the FELCN said.
After checking several vehicles, authorities seized more than 505 kilograms of cocaine hidden in 480 brick-type packages and 16 jute bags, the Bolivian newspaper La Opinión reported. Authorities intercepted five vehicles and captured nine people, the FELCN said.
The second operation took place with support from the Bolivian Air Force’s Red Devils Task Force, which flew over the Isiboro-Sécure National Park area, north of Cochabamba. In that area, service members identified a cocaine mega-lab that was inactive, as it had been flooded by rain, the FELCN reported. However, authorities found 17 kg of the drug on site, reported the Bolivian news portal La Patria.
“The mega-lab had bedroom and kitchen areas; diluting and filtering areas; electricity; bathrooms and showers; drying, pressing, and weighing areas; ether distillation areas; chemical warehouses; and a lab, among other things,” the FELCN said. Authorities destroyed and burned down the facilities.
On January 19, the FELCN reported that agents had found a ranch and a clandestine airstrip during an anti-drug operation in San Ignacio de Moxos province (Beni).
“In one of the rooms, we found eight jute bags containing several brick-type packages with controlled substances inside, which tested positive for cocaine in a field test,” the FELCN said.
Authorities captured two people, including a Peruvian national, and seized nearly 300 kg of cocaine.
“These actions have caused an economic impact on narcotrafficking assets of $748,200, price in Bolivia, and $1,496,400, price at the border,” Colonel Edwin Pérez Mendieta, FELCN general director, said.