Chilean Navy Seizes Cocaine Coming from Bolivia
By Dialogo May 21, 2012
The Chilean Navy has seized more than 500 kilos of cocaine, hidden in a truck coming from Bolivia and headed for Europe, in the port of the city of Arica, an official source announced on May 16.
“The drugs, more than 500 kilos of cocaine, were in a shipment of scrap metal transported by a truck coming from Bolivia and that was going to be loaded onto a ship that had Europe as its final destination,” Cristina Vidal, an operations officer for the Arica port captaincy said.
The cocaine seizure took place on the docks in Arica, following an investigation that began the week before and involved the Navy, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and Customs, which had been monitoring the truck since it crossed the border between Bolivia and Chile at the Chungará border crossing, Vidal added.
The officer said that arrests had been made, but she did not provide more details, because the information is part of an ongoing investigation by the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The Chilean border with Bolivia and Peru extends over a distance of 1,300 km and has become a nexus between the producers of drugs and their final destination, according to the Chilean government.
Chilean authorities have detected around 30 unauthorized crossing points along the border with Peru and 106 along the border with Bolivia.
Latin Governments are routinely supporting and protecting drugs dealers.
Ismael Maldonado of Tarija, for example, is widely known in Bolivia and Argentina for his Cocaine trafficking activity. Through Cocaine trafficking, Maldonado has become so strong financially that he has bought significant high level patronage and support/protection. He has a team of lawyers constantly fighting investigations and warding off convictions with technical objections. For example, the Bolivian public prosecutor and the police anti drugs unit conducted investigations against Maldonado for illicit earnings. The investigation was suspended only when MaldonadoÂ´s lawyers heard and fought to identify technicalities to suspend the investigation.
Prior to the Bolivian government expelling the DEA in 2009, Maldonado was the subject of a Cocaine trafficking and money laundering investigation and he was also the subject of cross border trafficking investigations with Argentina and other known traffickers Kim Yong Soon and Miguel Busanich. There are many others. BUt each and every time, he escapes conviction.
Maldonado launders the proceeds of this activity through his 26 stores called Fair Play where he sells athletic equiment and clothing. In Santa Cruz alone there are 4 identical stores within a 200m square box. Two of the stores are next door to each other.