SANTIAGO – Chilean police successfully dismantled two drug-trafficking gangs and seized their shipments of $1.5 million worth of marijuana on the one hand and $4.1 million worth of cocaine and marijuana on the other.
Both raids occurred not far from each other in the northern part of the country.
In Monday’s raid, a total of 633 kilos (1,394 lbs.) of processed marijuana, valued at some $1.5 million, was seized by Chile’s Carabinero militarized police after six months of tracking a drug-trafficking gang, officials reported.
The drug shipment was confiscated after a chase down the Panamerican Highway near the city of La Serena, at some 470 kilometers (290 miles) north of Santiago, where the smugglers in their attempt to escape abandoned a van in which the stash was hidden.
Police managed to arrest the gang leader, identified as G.S.M.G., 38, who has a long police record that includes robbery with violence, aggravated assault against a police officer, drug trafficking and illegal possession of firearms. His colleague, C.N.C.I., 20, was also arrested.
The load was being shipped in 716 rectangular packets, enough for 1,266,000 doses of the drug, which were to be distributed in La Serena, capital of the Coquimbo region, officials of the Carabineros’ OS-7 anti-drug department said.
Later investigations of the impounded van found that it was sought since Nov. 13, 2016, for its use in a robbery.
The detainees are being held by the prosecution, while police continue their search for a third member of the drug-running gang.
An even bigger haul – 2 million doses of cocaine and marijuana worth some $4.1 million – was seized by the Antinarcotics Brigade of La Serena in the Coquimbo community at 458 kilometers north of Santiago, after four months of investigation in cooperation with the Attorney General’s Office, according to a report this Monday by the PDI investigative police.
Arrested in the raid were nine traffickers bringing the drug from Bolivia.
The total amounts confiscated were 2,350,650 doses of cocaine base and 56,040 doses of cannabis sativa, found in 215 paper containers, altogether valued at some $4.1 million.
“The police investigation made it possible to dismantle a criminal organization that brought in drugs from Bolivia,” said the head of the Antinarcotics Brigade, Commissioner Marcelo Chepillo, adding that those who financed the operation or were either suppliers or collaborators “are all in preventive custody.”
Two raids, two gangs dismantled, a total of $5.6 million lost to the illegal drug trade, all in a day’s work for Chilean police.