Ecuador Seizes Cocaine from Sinaloa Cartel
One of the Mexican men captured might be connected to the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the largest drug organizations in Mexico, the Ministry said in a statement. Ecuador, traditionally considered a transit country for drugs headed towards the United States and Europe, confiscated about 42 tons of drugs, the majority of which was cocaine, in 2012, compared to 26 tons in 2011, and 18 tons in 2010. By Dialogo May 09, 2013 The vessel sailed through Ecuadorean waters and it could not be reached by the country’s National Navy units, according to the Ministry. Three crew members who identified themselves as Mexican nationals were on board, and set the ship on fire with the drugs on board after being discovered. The seizure might be related to a case of a Mexican-flagged ship that was carrying four tons of cocaine, and which was intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard in international waters near Mexico, according to information given by Ecuador to the DEA. The operation, called ‘Aluvión,’ was carried out in the provinces of Guayas and El Oro – on the Peruvian border – and also produced the arrest of five Ecuadorean nationals and the seizure of $277,000, stated the Ministry of Interior. After operation ‘Aluvión’, which included the seizure of the Mexican vessel with four tons of cocaine, Ecuadorean Minister of Interior José Serrano told the press that his country has seized 15 tons of drugs so far in 2013. On May 7, Ecuadorean authorities seized 457 kg of cocaine, which possibly belonged to the Sinaloa Cartel, during an operation where they arrested four Mexican nationals.