Prosecutor Investigates Police Over Drug Arrest In Puno

A prosecutor in Peru’s southern region of Puno is investigating allegations that police officers in the area have held on to cocaine paste confiscated from drug traffickers, according to a report by newspaper La Republica.

On April 26, a group of residents in the community of San Ignacio, located in Puno’s Sandia province, captured a small Bolivian airplane had landed on a clandestine runway where it was picking up the drug, the report said.

The residents reportedly called police from San Juan del Oro, who arrived and captured five people that helped the drug traffickers.

Provincial prosecutor Hubert Obregon interrogated one of the accused, Uribe Paredes, who said that the plane had 200 kilos of cocaine paste on board, which the police had confiscated. Paredes said that eight police officers each took 25 kilos of the drug.

Obregon was reportedly unaware of the cocaine paste. The head of the commission in San Juan del Oro, Police Major Jorge Chiclla, denied that they had confiscated any drugs. The value of the drugs would reportedly be $460,000 on the Peru-Bolivia border.

Obregon opened an investigation against Chiclla, as well as two other police officers.

“There is nothing against us,” Chiclla was reported saying. He added that Paredes, the prosecutor’s witness that says the police robbed the drugs, “is crazy.”

Peru is a major global producer of cocaine, along with Colombia and Bolivia.

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