Authorities confiscate some 190kg of cocaine in arrests

Peruvian authorities have confiscated about 190 kilograms of cocaine in numerous operations throughout the country over the past week, local media reported.

One of the operations included two police officers who were caught with 13kg of cocaine paste in the San Juan Bautista district in Peru’s central-south Ayacucho region. The “narco-cops” were identified as Felix Rodriguez and Bernando Pari, a retired officer, daily La Republica reported.

However, the biggest drug bust came in Cusco where agents from counter-narcotics agency Divandro arrested two men carrying almost 167kg of cocaine paste. The arrest came as the individuals were leaving the city, according to the state news agency Andina.

Also in Cusco, Divandro agents detained a foreign national who was trying to leave the Alejandro Velasco Astete airport with 3.56kg of cocaine hydrochloride. The 30-year-old woman from the Philippines was planning to catch a flight to Sao Paulo.

Meanwhile, in Lima, a Brazilian citizen also planning to fly to Sao Paulo was arrested with 7.58kg of cocaine  at the Jorge Chavez International airport.

Peru is the world’s top producer of coca, the raw material used to make cocaine. In March, the United Nations’ International Narcotics Control Board released a report that said the number of hectares used for coca cultivation had increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2009.

In 2005, coca crops were grown on 48,200 hectares – by 2009, this had increased to 59,900 hectares in 13 areas nationwide.

Although coca is grown legally in several areas –for local use as dried leaves or for teas, other foods and medicinal purposes — the U.S. State Department indicates that 93% of all coca crops in Peru are illegal.

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