Peru police seize 1,760 pounds of coca leaves

Peru police have reportedly seized 800 kilograms, or about 1,760 pounds, of coca leaves in La Convención province, in Cusco department.

According to Agencia Andina, the leaves were confiscated during operations along the highway between Cusco and Quillabamba between Dec. 23 and Dec. 26. Police allegedly found the leaves hidden among luggage and crates of fruit in different buses and cargo trucks. Authorities believe they were destined for cocaine production. No one has been arrested.

The coca leaf has a significant role in Andean culture, but it is also the raw material for manufacturing cocaine. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Peru’s dry coca leaf production potential in 2006 was 105,100 metric tons, making it the world’s second largest producer of dry coca leaf after Colombia.

Chemical products used to manufacture the coca leaf into cocaine have also been recently seized by Police. About 15 tons of calcium hydroxide was confiscated from a 42-year-old man on a highway in Junín department on Tuesday. According to Agencia Andina, the man claimed to be delivering it to a Buenaventura mine. However police became suspicious when he lacked proper transportation documents.

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