The largest cocaine haul ever found in Peru has been obtained by police officials. A total of 7.7 metric tons (8.5 tons) were displayed in a Lima airport hangar on Monday, seized from a massive drug bust last week.
According to The Washington Post, the incredible quantity of cocaine was flown to the Peruvian capital and unloaded from Antonov police transport plane. The officers handling the giant bricks of packaged cocaine had to wear surgical masks. The plastic-wrapped cocaine haul was discovered inside chunks of coal and stashed inside a rural home near the northern port of Trujillo. The suspects responsible for the cocaine have been arrested, including six Peruvians and two Mexicans.
The 8.5 tons of cocaine were intended to be shipped to Spain and Belgium but were seized before they could be sent out. Authorities claim that some members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration were involved in the drug operation. The cocaine haul was the property of a large Mexican cartel planning to distribute the narcotics overseas.
Peruvian police officials celebrated the bust with a banner that read: "Historic Blow to Illegal Drug Trafficking." Interior Minister Daniel Urresti was joined by the police chief and the counternarcotics commander on a stage for a press event. The narcotics were guarded by a large group of armed police officers, standing around the bricks of cocaine in full uniform and in formation.
The most cocaine Peruvian officials had seized before this week was 6 metric tons, found in January of 2002 inside a truck in the southern state of Arequipa. According to police, this stash of cocaine was destined for a fishing boat near the port of Ilo to be shipped to Mexico.
Peru remains the largest producer of cocaine in the world, and has since 2012. While this massive cocaine bust will put a dent in the drug trade, it is likely that many more shipments of cocaine will continue to move in and out of the Andean nation.
According to IOL News, the Interior Minister Daniel Urresti is pictured here crouching next to the unbelievable amount of cocaine in a photo taken by Enrique Castro-Mendivil.
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[Image courtesy of AFP PHOTO /ERNESTO BENAVIDES]