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The shrimp shipment came from Mar del Plata. (Photo: StockFile)

Cocaine found hidden in shrimp shipment

Click on the flag for more information about Argentina ARGENTINA
Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 23:30 (GMT + 9)

The police in Chubut found high purity cocaine hidden in boxes of shrimp (Pleoticus muelleri) that were in the premises of the company Poseidon, in Puerto Madryn.

Police personnel in Chubut under the supervision of the federal judge of Rawson, Hugo Sastre, measured the cocaine hidden in a shipment of more than 4,000 kilograms of shrimp that was to be exported to Spain.

There are no details on the amount of the drugs found. The criminal court clerk, Mariano Miquelarena, estimated that the forceful search was going to take several hours because it is necessary to check all the goods.

According to the federal prosecutor of Rawson, Fernando Gelves, "the estimates performed by the police is that it could overcome a tonne," the newspaper Clarin reported. Telam agency, meanwhile, said there were "at least 100 kilos."

Research-related sources reported that the shipments of shrimp "came from Mar del Plata and the workers in charge of handling the boxes were those who suspected they contained drug was and warned" the appropriate authorities about it.

Sastre stressed that "what was found in the boxes of shrimp matches the complaint."

According to the statement of one of the employees of Poseidon, some of the boxes filled with shrimp were different inside: the packages had no labels and no seals that are typical of exports. For this reason, he decided to call the police suspecting that there was something weird.

The shipment, whose destination was Spain, had been "in the cooling equipment of the company" for a month, clarified research sources.

"Even the lot was delayed because more goods for export had to be collected and because they had had some objections from the National Health and Food Quality Service (Senasa) as to the way the shrimp were packaged," they added.

The judge Sastre was concerned about the fact that "the finding was performed at random."

"I have a weird feeling as to this because on the one hand we are glad to have found the shipment but on the other hand, we are certain that no controls are performed here," he acknowledged.

Research sources pointed out that until last night nobody had been taken to prison as a result of this incident, since the finding "was fortuitous."

However, the lorry driver who transported the boxes, the place of origin of the goods –Poseidon -- and the whole chain to export shrimp are being investigated.

By Analia Murias


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