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Bolivia seizes one ton of cocaine heading to Brazil

BOLIVIAN police have announced the seizure of one ton of cocaine worth some US$10 million and destined to be shipped to Brazil.

Interior Minister Carlos Romero said at a Wednesday press conference that the cocaine was wrapped in packages and found at a farm near the city of Trinidad, in the department of Beni that borders Brazil.

"Approximately 60 percent was made up of pure cocaine... and 40 percent of [unrefined] cocaine paste," Romero said.

The farm had a clandestine landing strip, and police said they seized a small plane but made no arrests.

The head of the anti-narcotics police, Santiago Delgadillo, set the value on the seizure and said it was heading to Brazil, which is both a market and a shipping point for drugs heading to Europe, sometimes via Africa.

While this was a big seizure, there have been larger ones: in January 2016 police seized a six-ton shipment of cocaine heading to the Ivory Coast, and in July of that year they seized a seven-ton shipment heading to Honduras.

Coca, the source plant for cocaine, is a South American bush raised on the eastern foothills of the Andes in countries like Peru, Colombia and Bolivia.

Cocaine is synthesized from a paste extracted from coca leaves in clandestine laboratories usually located near the plantations.

Colombia is the leading coca producer in Latin America, followed by Peru and Bolivia, according to United Nations monitors.


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