6/21/2017 InSight Crime
Authorities believe that the second-largest cocaine seizure in Argentina’s history is linked to a Mexican cartel that exploited an unusual trafficking route, suggesting that Argentina’s transshipment role is continuing to grow, most likely due to both domestic and international drug-related developments.
Argentina’s Federal Police seized two metric tons of cocaine — the second-largest cocaine seizure in the country’s history, worth an estimated $60 million — in the Bahía Blanca port city of Buenos Aires province on June 19. Another 500 kilograms were seized in the Luján de Cuyo city of Mendoza province close to the Chilean border, according to a Security Ministry press release.
Authorities believe the drugs were smuggled from Chile to the province of Mendoza and on to Buenos Aires. In Bahía Blanca’s port, the cocaine — reportedly destined for Spain and Canada — was hidden in steel coils to block customs scanners.
Cocaine has traditionally entered Argentina through the country’s northern provinces bordering Bolivia, and more recently those along the border with Paraguay.