Peru seizes 902 kilos of cocaine in three busts

LIMA – Peru’s National Police have seized a total of 902 kilos of cocaine in three drug busts, according to the country’s interior minister.

“This year, the anti-drug work is very strong, and that is due in part to good intelligence. We are making progress in eradicating acres of coca leaves, seizing drugs and chemical supplies,” Mauro Medina said. So far this year, 40.6 tons of cocaine has been seized in different areas of the country, he added.

This month alone there have been three large interventions. The first took place in Pichari, in the southeastern region of Cusco, where 297 kilos of cocaine base paste was seized.

The second took place in the province of Juliaca near the Bolivian border where 174 kilos of hydrochloride cocaine (CHC) was seized. And the third was in Huarmey, in the northeastern region of Ancash where 431 kilos of CHC was seized.

Medina said a large portion of the drug was produced in clandestine labs in the Valle de los Rios Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro (VRAEM) where he estimated there are some 20,000 acres of illegal cocaine grows.

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National Police general Hector Loayza said that so far this year there have been 11,605 anti-drug operations with 8,836 tons of chemical supplies seized.

In addition, 71 clandestine labs have been seized and 76 organized crime groups have been broken up, with 2,576 persons arrested for drug trafficking.