Police seize 440 pounds of cocaine in Peru port

Police have seized 200 kilograms, about 440 pounds, of cocaine in the port city of Callao in the largest cocaine seizure in Peru so far this year. The cocaine was hidden in a crate among replicas of Inca ceramics aboard the Elqui, which is owned by the Chilean CSAV shipping company, the largest in Latin America, according to daily La República. The cocaine was reportedly bound for Spain, with an estimated street value of eight million euros, or almost $12 million.

According to the daily, Peru’s anti-drug unit, Dirandro, arrested three employees from the port who were allegedly involved in the trafficking. The employees are suspected of being in the employ of a Colombian drug cartel that traffics to Spain, France and the United Kingdom.

In 2006, Peru’s estimated cocaine producing potential was 280 metric tons, making it the world’s second largest cocaine producer after Colombia, according to the 2007 UN World Drug Report. In 2005, Peruvian authorities seized 22 metric tons of cocaine.

The report adds that Europe is the second most important destination for cocaine, with Spain as the main entry point.

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