A record four tonnes of cocaine has been seized at a port in Uruguay.
Naval officers, working alongside their customs counterparts, described the find as ‘the biggest blow to drug trafficking in the country’s history’. More than 4,000 bricks of cocaine, each weighing a kilogram, were discovered packed inside four soy flour containers destined for Lome, the capital of Togo, at Montevideo.
Uruguay’s customs director Jaime Borgiani estimated the drugs to be worth a billion US dollars on the European market. The country is increasingly being used as a transit point to move drugs through South America and into Europe and Africa.
In the first two containers investigated, ‘a total of 4,418 kilograms (of cocaine) corresponding to 4,003 bricks’ was found, the navy said in a statement. The previous record was three tonnes found in a container destined for Africa at Montevideo’s port in November.
It is not known where this shipment originated, but Mr Borgiani said it ‘was loaded’ onto trucks on Tuesday at a ranch in south-western Soriano, almost 200 miles from Montevideo. Suspicions were raised around a new export firm who had not transported much soya in the past, it not being widely consumed in Africa.
Mr Borgiani said: ‘The important thing is to show the world and drug traffickers that you don’t mess around with Uruguayan customs. We’ve taken the necessary steps to rid the country of this scourge.’
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