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Ecuadorian Police Disrupts Shipment of More than 1 Ton of Cocaine

Ecuadorian Police Disrupts Shipment of More than 1 Ton of Cocaine

By Juan Delgado/Diálogo
May 12, 2021

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The Ecuadorian National Police seized more than 1 ton of cocaine that was hidden in a fruit shipment destined for Europe, Ecuadorian Minister of Government Gabriel Martínez said on Twitter on March 26.

The operation dubbed Impact 96 (Impacto 96) took place in the port of Aguas Profundas, in a town near Guayaquil, where agents captured two people: the driver that transported the fruit boxes and the company representative responsible for the fruit shipment to Europe, the Ecuadorian newspaper El Universo reported. The cocaine packages were labeled NDLS and 777, which investigators believe correspond to the criminal groups supplying the drugs.

“Investigations carried out by @PoliciaEcuador, in the port [of the town] of Posorja, prevented 1.2 tons of cocaine hydrochloride from being sent to Europe in a banana shipment that was destined for Rotterdam, the Netherlands,” Martínez said.

On March 29, Ecuador’s Office of the Attorney General said in a statement that one of the detainees was prosecuted for trafficking and possession of controlled substances. However, the second person arrested was released, as his alleged participation in the cocaine transfer could not be established, the Office of the Attorney General said.

According to investigations by the Office of the Attorney General, criminals transported the drug from Guayaquil, where the shipment contamination took place, likely in a facility located in the suburb of Quinto Guayas.

The seizure was the second largest in Ecuadorian ports so far in 2021. On January 18, anti-drug agents found more than 1.2 tons of cocaine in containers at the Guayaquil Seaport, the Police said in a statement. The drug was bound for Estonia.

According to official estimates, the Ecuadorian Police’s National Anti-narcotics Directorate seized 128 tons of drugs in 2020, which represents the largest seizure in the last decade, surpassing the 110 tons seized in 2016, the Argentine news portal Infobae reported.