Bolivia claims its second largest drug seizure in history

Bolivian police made a significant drug bust, seizing over 7.2 tons of cocaine concealed in scrap metal destined for export to Europe via Chile. Interior Minister Eduardo del Castillo announced the bust, which he labeled the second-largest in Bolivia’s history, estimating it would deprive drug traffickers of more than $451 million. The drugs were found at a customs checkpoint in Pisiga, near the Chilean border, hidden in trucks transporting scrap metal to Belgium, a key entry point for Latin American cocaine into Europe. Police detected the drugs during a routine inspection of the containers, drilling them to uncover the cocaine. Three individuals were arrested in connection with the seizure, while the alleged mastermind reportedly fled to the United States. This bust follows Bolivia’s largest-ever drug seizure just weeks prior, involving close to 9 tons of cocaine, also intercepted at the Bolivia-Chile border. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reports Bolivia as the third-largest producer of coca, the raw material for cocaine, globally. UNODC notes an increase in cocaine shipments from southern South America, including Chile, to Europe.

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