Ecuador Seizes 362 Kilograms of Cocaine Attributed to an International Cartel

By Dialogo
August 07, 2012

Ecuador seized nearly 362 kilograms of cocaine that were allegedly abandoned on a beach off the Pacific Ocean, informed Police Chief Raúl Aguirre, on Aug. 5. He attributed the shipment to an international cartel.

“This is an international drug trafficking organization”, the chief of the police command for the fishing port of Manta (southeast) pointed out to the press, noting that the drugs were distributed in 328 brick-like packages marked with the number 50.

Aguirre added that the seized cocaine is valued at about $13.1 million dollars, and it was found inside an apparently abandoned vehicle on Aug. 2, on a beach neighboring Manta.

The driver of the abandoned vehicle and a woman who was believed to be the owner of the lot where the drugs were stashed were captured in the operation. The drugs were later transported to the beach to be loaded onto a boat.

Since last January, Ecuador has seized about 18.5 tons of narcotics, mainly cocaine. The narcotics seizure totaled 26 tons in 2011, versus the 18 tons in 2010 and the record 68 tons in 2009.

President Rafael Correa affirmed on July 25h that Ecuador, “is applying mechanisms to prevent the infiltration of international drug-trafficking organizations”.

Correa emphasized that “in the entire Andean region, Ecuador is the only country that does not produce coca”.