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Paraguay Seizes More than 46 Tons of Illegal Drugs in a Week

Paraguay Seizes More than 46 Tons of Illegal Drugs in a Week

By Juan Delgado/Diálogo
September 11, 2020

The fight against narcotrafficking in Paraguay continues. In late July, the Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD, in Spanish), in cooperation with the Armed Forces, seized and destroyed more than 46 tons of drugs in several operations carried out nationwide.

“SENAD, together with the Navy, the JTF [Joint Task Force], and the Attorney General’s Office, carried out several operations this week. More than 46 tons of marijuana taken out of the market, about half a ton of cocaine, and several detainees,” Paraguayan President Mario Abdo said on his Twitter account on July 24.

A SENAD agent destroys supplies for the production of marijuana at a lab in Amambay department on July 23, 2020. (Photo: Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat)

Among the operations carried out, the following stand out:

During an operation in Caaguazú department, SENAD special agents found a 5-hectare marijuana plantation on July 23. Authorities destroyed the crops, which SENAD said in a press release were capable of yielding about 15 tons of marijuana. At the same location, agents also seized 1,300 kilograms of the drug already processed.

During a parallel operation conducted in Amambay department, SENAD agents dismantled a large marijuana lab equipped with electricity, freezers, industrial refrigerators, and tanks of drinking water, among other items for the production of drug. “They made traditionally pressed marijuana, but their main focus was Moroccan marijuana or hashish, which requires a more careful process, such as continuous refrigeration,” SENAD said in a press release.

In total, agents seized 2,400 kg of chopped marijuana, 119 kg of pressed marijuana, 3 kg of hashish, and 25 kg of seeds. They also captured two Paraguayan nationals.

“This is not the first time that SENAD has detected these kind of facilities in the same area of the country,” SENAD said. “The appearance of these facilities is likely due to the increase in demand for new marijuana varieties on the Brazilian market. Frozen cannabis or Moroccan hashish is more expensive than traditional marijuana […].”

Another marijuana production and storage center was destroyed in Concepción department on July 18. On site, authorities found almost 4 tons of marijuana and 44 kg of seeds, and burned four fields covering 2 hectares with drug crops at the growing stage.

On the same day, in a rural area of Canindeyú department, SENAD agents found a campsite with various supplies for processing and packing marijuana. Authorities destroyed the campsite and seized 841 kg of marijuana in packages and about 1,000 kg of chopped marijuana.

Service members carried out another crop eradication operation in Alto Paraná department on July 16. SENAD agents destroyed 4 hectares of crops, capable of yielding nearly 12 tons of marijuana, the institution said in a press release. On site, they also seized 600 kg of dried marijuana and 10 kg of seeds.