Paraguay: Anti-Drug Agents Seize 2 Tons of Marijuana
By Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo August 06, 2021
Special Forces agents of the Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD, in Spanish) destroyed a drug camp where they found nearly 2 tons of marijuana in Bella Vista, Caaguazú department, on July 9.
“In addition to the ready [to sell] drug, we removed nearly 6 tons of marijuana from circulation by destroying 2 hectares of illicit crops,” SENAD said in a statement. Among the illicit substances, authorities found 450 kilograms of marijuana in 449 brick-type packages and 1,400 kg of chopped cannabis.
Agents also seized a rustic press, five hydraulic jacks, 5 kg of seeds, and a makeshift warehouse, the Paraguayan newspaper La Nación reported. They incinerated all the drugs on site, in addition to the 2 hectares that were in the growing stage.
The people who were in charge of the camp were not present at the time of the operation. The growers escaped upon noticing the authorities, the Paraguayan newspaper Hoy reported.
On July 8, SENAD agents dealt another blow to narcotrafficking in the municipality of Sargento José Félix López, Concepción department. “We detected 10 drug camps and destroyed about 85 hectares of marijuana crops,” SENAD reported.
In total, authorities destroyed 262 tons of marijuana that were bound for criminal factions in Brazil, the Paraguayan newspaper Última Hora reported. The raids received support from the Joint Task Force, made up of Paraguay’s Armed Forces and National Police.
“According to the [SENAD] report, the vast area north of Concepción department, bordering Amambay, is currently dominated by criminal groups, presumably of Brazilian origin, that finance large drug crops,” the Paraguayan newspaper ABC reported.
On July 6, during Operation Reflex (Operación Reflejo), SENAD agents and the Specialized Unit against Narcotrafficking, under Paraguay’s Office of the Attorney General, carried out four simultaneous raids in the city of Pedro Juan Caballero.
“The goal was to dismantle a criminal scheme that sent large quantities of marijuana to Brazil,” SENAD reported. “Three Paraguayans and a Brazilian were captured in different parts of the city.”
One of the detainees is Brazilian national Celso Eni Mendes dos Santos Junior, alias Billy, known for financing marijuana shipments to Brazil.
“From the city of Punta Porá [neighboring Pedro Juan Caballero], the drug was sent to Brazil, hidden in vehicles,” the Brazilian news portal Campo Grande News reported.