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Ecuador has seized 102 tons of drugs so far in 2016

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-12 16:41

QUITO - Ecuador has seized 120 tons of drugs so far in 2016, far outnumbering the 79 tons in 2015, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday.

Speaking at a press conference, Interior Minister Diego Fuentes said 11.85 tons of cocaine were found in a container bound for Belgium in the port of Guayaquilon Saturday, the most important haul of the year.

Police sources found the drugs hidden in a shipment of 3,200 sacks of salt.

"Field tests determined that 474 bags contained cocaine. Each one weighed approximately 25 kilo, giving a total of 11.85 tons of cocaine,said Fuentes. He added that the drug haul had an estimated value of at least $480 million.

The representative of the export agency to whom the container belonged has been arrested. An investigation is ongoing to identify other individuals who may have been involved.

Fuentes said that investigation had shown this company made exports in an irregular way and had no business ties with any other company.

"This was a message to drug trafficking organizations, especially at the ports and airports. In the coming weeks, we will make more large-scale interventions," said Fuentes.

"We will not allow these networks...to circumvent controls, we are ready to renew our efforts to neutralize these illegal exports," warned Fuentes.

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