Bolivia seize 654 kilos of cocaine headed to Spain

BOLIVIA — Bolivian authorities on Tuesday (April 21) said they had seized more than 650 kilograms (1,400 pounds) of cocaine and arrested six suspected drug traffickers.

Bolivian government minister Hugo Moldiz said the sting was an operation that lasted several months that led to the arrest of the suspects and the seizure of the drugs which he said were destined for Spain.

Narcotics police officers displayed the more than 600 bricks of cocaine for journalists to take pictures.

The police also presented the six suspected drug runners, all of whom are Bolivian nationals.

Moldiz said this was no minor bust.

“This is the result of an investigation that lasted several months, close to a year if I’m not mistaken, and led to the ability to determine the precise day to give what up until now represents the biggest blow as far as a drug trafficking seizure,” Moldiz said.

The cocaine was wrapped in bricks covered with masking tape. Moldiz said the haul was going to pass over the border with Chile before being sent to Spain were he said the narcotics had a street value of almost $50 million dollars.

“The drugs are 654 kilos (1,400 pounds) of cocaine hydrochloride, which was wrapped in 623 packages covered in masking tape and that came hidden in an export load of scrap metal.” Moldiz said.

The government minister explained the planned route he said drug traffickers had intended to use to get the narcotics to Spain.

“The Tambo Quemado border region; Puerto de Arica, Chile; Puerto de Aljibes, Spain; with the final destination in Malaga (Spain). This seized cocaine is worth $48 million dollars,” he added.

So far this year Bolivia’s narcotics unit has carried out 3,263 operations, seized close to 11 metric tons (24,250 pounds) of cocaine, 253 kilos (557 pounds) of marijuana and arrested more than 1,000 suspected traffickers. (Reuters)