Peru Halts Attempt To Ship Drugs To Mexico In Wood Boards

By Dialogo
March 09, 2010

Peruvian police dismantled a gang that was planning to ship almost 400 kilos of drugs to Mexico hidden in a shipment of nearly 900 wood boards, officials in this capital's port said. The anti-narcotics prosecutor in the port of Callao, Juan Mendoza, commented on the operation - dubbed "Sinaloan Cedar" - in a press conference. As a result of the investigation, arrest warrants were issued for seven people belonging to the Multitex firm, ostensibly founded as a textile-export firm. But the probe showed the company was a front for smuggling drugs from Peru to Mexico, and the northwestern state of Sinaloa in particular, which prompted suspicion among Peruvian prosecutors that the illegal shipment was intended for that region's like-named cartel. The 392 kilos that were seized included 102 kilos of cocaine chlorhydrate, while the rest was cocaine paste that presumably was to be processed at drug labs in Mexico. Only one suspect has been arrested thus far, while warrants are out for six other people. This latest shipment was reportedly the second that the group had tried to send to Mexico. According to U.N. figures, Peru is the world's second-leading producer of cocaine and its precursor, coca leaf, trailing only Colombia. The main destination for Peruvian drugs is Europe, mainly entering via Spain and the Netherlands, although shipments of illegal narcotics from that South American country also make their way to Brazil and Mexico for later entry into the United States.