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Ecuador: Police seize over 3 tons of cocaine in banana boxes

August 21, 2022

Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest port, has increasingly become a hub of drug traffickers, prompting the police to ramp up checks for drugs in cargo containers.

A member of the Port Information Unit of the Ecuadorian Anti-Narcotics Police checks banana boxes bound for Italy at the port of Guayaquil, Ecuador, on April 12, 2022.
Ecuadorian officials have ramped up checks to prevent drug traffickers from hiding cocaine in cargo containersImage: Marcos Pin/AFP/Getty Images

Ecuadorian authorities have seized around 3.5 tons of cocaine bound for the UK and the Netherlands, police said on Saturday.

Police seized the drugs in two banana containers at separate locations. 

One shipment contained a total of 2,300 packets of cocaine — each packet worth a kilo — in around 92 boxes. Police intercepted the container as it approached the Ecuadorian port city of Guayaquil.

The other shipment at an undisclosed location in the same region contained 1,218 packets of cocaine, stuffed in 87 banana boxes. 

Turning into a hub for drug traffickers

Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest port, has increasingly become a hub of drug traffickers, prompting the police to ramp up checks for drugs in cargo containers.

One of the containers this time was bound for the UK, while the other was bound for Rotterdam in the Netherlands, police said. Two people have been arrested in connection with the cases.

The latest haul comes a day after Ecuadorian police said they had seized cocaine — hidden in 4,800 tuna cans — in an apartment in Manta, a port city on the country's central coast.

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele also recently said that authorities in his country had intercepted a shipment carrying 2.2 tons of cocaine in the Pacific Ocean.

rm/sri (AFP, dpa)