The shipment of bananas entered through the Salvador Mazza-Yacuiba International Pass, in Salta. The fruit traveled from Ecuador, the country that exports the most to Argentina. But a new route for transporting cocaine reported by the World Customs Organization (WCO) put the focus on controlling trucks entering from that country. Thus, they detected 100 kilos of cocaine hidden in 105 packages.
The investigation is in the hands of the Federal Prosecutor's Office of Tartagal and Judge Gustavo Montoya, of the same jurisdiction. They arrested the driver and investigate the logistics company that organizes the transfer.
So far in 2023 they have already detected 4 thousand kilos of that drug in shipments of bananas from Ecuardor, so the controls on this type of trucks are stricter.
According to data from CENcomm, the WCO's platform, cocaine was detected hidden in banana shipments from Ecuador destined for the Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Georgia and Italy between March and April 2023 for a total of 3,989 kilos.
The drug was hidden in the drag bolt that hooks the semi-trailer. Photo Customs
"They are the cases reported from abroad. It is an indicator of drug trafficking risk," they justified before the Clarín query. And they added: "We have identified 38 firms that import bananas from Ecuador and there is no green selectivity channel for this merchandise. We are also attentive to transits since Uruguay is a temptation for drug trafficking.
With this alert, the agents of the General Directorate of Customs (DGA) pay special attention to these shipments. This Friday, around 13:30 p.m., they pointed at a truck that was entering through the town of Pocitos.
"They stopped the vehicle and used the scanners to analyze the load it was carrying in the trailer," DGA reported.
Upon noticing images with "a strange density", a more detailed review was carried out so the merchandise was downloaded. Then, with sniffer dogs, they searched the truck.
La Can Luli was in charge of pointing out the place where the cocaine was hidden. Photo Customs
Then, the Luli dog sniffed the presence of substances, so they proceeded to remove "the drag bolt that hooks the semi-trailer, where they found 105 yellow packages of approximately one kilo each."
After the corresponding analysis, they confirmed that it was 105.08 kilos of cocaine valued at an approximate value of 386,169,000 pesos.
The final destination of the cargo was the Central Market of Buenos Aires, located in the town of Tapiales, in La Matanza, the largest food distribution center in the country.
The decentralized Federal Prosecutor's Office of Tartagal and the Federal Court of Tartagal intervened in the event, and ordered the seizure of the drug.
At the moment the only detainee is the driver of the truck, a man of Bolivian nationality, who will be questioned by Judge Gustavo Montoya at 9 in the morning.
Judicial sources told Clarín that "the drugs were packaged at the base of the truck's thermal box. Images of foreign objects were observed in that sector. The control was done with the scanner that the DGA has installed in that step and then the search was advanced until the packages were found. "
Ecuador is the country from which more bananas are imported, with shipments of 819 thousand tons since 2020.
It is not the first time that the decentralized prosecutor's office of Tartagal kidnaps this type of shipment, in 2020 they had already found another similar one. "Both in this truck and in the previous one, the loading was done in Bolivia. In the meriodional zone of the country," judicial sources confided to Clarín.