Ecuador Seizes 4.4 Tons of Cocaine in Largest Seizure of the Year

By Dialogo
August 22, 2013

Ecuadorean Police seized 4.4 tons of cocaine hidden in a shipment of palm hearts that were destined to Spain from the port of Guayaquil, authorities reported on August 20.

The shipment was found on August 16, and it had been initially estimated at 3.2 tons of cocaine; however, after a new inspection, the exact amount was 4.4 tons, Minister of Interior José Serrano, escorted by police commands, told the press.

This is the biggest seizure reported so far this year, increasing the total amount of drugs confiscated in 2013 to 32.6 tons, according to official figures.

After the operation, four Ecuadorean nationals were captured, including executives of the exporting company.

Ecuador is considered a drug transit country to the United States and Europe. Last year, 42 tons of drugs were seized in the South American country, compared to 26 in 2011, and 18 in 2010. In 2009, a record 68 tons were seized.