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Paraguayan authorities ram up fighting off drug trafficking

Asuncion, May 5 (Prensa Latina) Paraguay’s National Anti-Drug Directorate (SENAD) affirmed on Sunday that it removed 558,000 kilograms of marijuana from circulation in various raids on the first days of May.

According to the entity, the estimated losses to organized crime amount to over USD$ 16 million, in addition to the seizure of numerous doses of drugs prepared for retail sale in the local market.

SENAD explained that the operations were launched in Yby Pyta, Bella Vista Norte, Salto del Guaira, Encarnacion, Ñacunday, Arroyos y Esteros, Pira Pyta and Caazapa.

Last week, in a vast wooded area located in “Pasiño” district of Yby Yau, Department of Concepcion, the authorities detected a plot of approximately two and a half hectares of marijuana crops.

Officers further found 4,000 kilograms of marijuana already harvested and in bags, in response to which the representative of the Public Prosecutor’s Office ordered the eradication of the crops and the incineration of the drugs discovered.

In another operation, over 400 kilograms of marijuana were confiscated from a car that criminals abandoned in the face of constant controls.

Among other actions in the fight against drug trafficking, organized crime and smuggling, this past week authorities intercepted a cache of cocaine in a load of starch and flour that was to be shipped from Silvio Pettirossi Airport, apparently allocated for the Netherlands.

According to Paraguayan Interior Minister Enrique Riera, the drug was hidden in 10 pallet blocks, each apparently containing 160 kilograms.

“So, we think we can estimate approximately 1,600 kilos of pure cocaine, but those final numbers will obviously come out when the count is finished,” the minister added.

According to InSight Crime, Paraguay’s geographic position has facilitated the rapid development of cocaine (as well as other drugs) trafficking in South America in recent years.