Caracas — More than 10 tons of cocaine were seized in Venezuela during a police and military operation, authorities said on Thursday, a quantity equal to around a quarter of all seizures made last year.
“A total of 10,400.00 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride were seized and incinerated,” the head of the country’s anti-drugs agency Richard Lopez said on X, formerly Twitter.
Cocaine hydrochloride refers to the powder form of the illicit drug.
Venezuela confiscated about 51 tons of drugs so far this year, resulting in more than 13 000 arrests, Lopez said.
Police dismantled three cocaine production camps with 13 laboratories, a logistics center, and a weapons and explosives manufacturing plant, he added.
Un total de 10.400,00 Kgs de clorhidrato de cocaína fueron incautados e incinerados. Venezuela en lo que va de 2023 registra 46.632,954 Kgs de drogas incautadas en 10.293 procedimientos con 13.314 detenidos por estas actividades delictivas. pic.twitter.com/Ouf8q93WOC
— MG. Richard López Vargas (@LopezvargasR) October 26, 2023
The official did not report any arrests in the three-day operation in northwestern Zulia state, on the border with Colombia and where most drugs have been seized this year.
More than 41 tons of narcotics were seized in 2022, according to the anti-drugs agency.
Millions have left Venezuela in recent years, as it suffers from an economic crisis that has seen poverty soar, with many settling in Colombia.
The South American nations share a 2 200-kilometre (1 350-mile) border through a region riddled with armed groups contending for lucrative drug trafficking and smuggling routes.
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