Chilean authorities have dismantled yet another cocaine lab, used by a group of Bolivians and Chileans to process the drug into its liquid form, suggesting that Chile’s role in the drug trade may be evolving beyond that of a transshipment point.
Following a six-month investigation, Chilean police seized more than 530 kilograms of cocaine and dismantled a large cocaine processing laboratory in the town of Nancagua, roughly 200 kilometers south of the capital Santiago, reported Publimetro on March 28.
In addition to impounding 450 kilograms of liquid cocaine and 85 kilograms of cocaine base, authorities arrested four Chileans who allegedly smuggled the product into the country, and two Bolivians who would process the drug into its liquid form. Police also found precursor chemicals needed to process the drug into its liquid form, reported Cooperativa.
Carlos Yánez, the head of the Antinarcotics and Organized Crime Brigade (Brigada Antinarcóticos y Contra el Crimen Organizado), said that the criminal group was also involved in distributing some of the product in the Santiago metropolitan area, according to Publimetro.
The official also noted that this was the fourth cocaine lab dismantled in the country this year. A total of 16 were discovered last year.