SANTIAGO – Police seized 3 tons of crack and power cocaine and marijuana and arrested eight people in an operation last weekend in northern Chile, authorities said Tuesday.
Police estimated the street value of the drugs confiscated in Chile’s largest drug bust in the last 10 years at 33 billion pesos ($60 million).
The drug haul, smuggled into Chile from neighboring Bolivia, was seized in a land and sea operation that was four months in the planning.
Police intercepted Saturday a truck and three vans in which traffickers were shipping the drugs.
Cops in Santiago simultaneously raided three homes where they seized arms, ammunition and telecommunications equipment, the Interior Ministry said in a communique.
Minister Rodrigo Peñailillo congratulated the police and the Attorney General’s Office for the investigation and for cracking the case, which, he said, delivered “a hard blow to drug trafficking.”
Investigators say the gang used a series of tricks to avoid detection by the police and disguised themselves as a caravan of miners.
Members wore work clothes and hard hats and used satellite phones to talk to each other to avoid detection by the police.