Ecuadorean authorities have seized 120 tons of drugs since the beginning of 2016, compared to 79 tons in 2015, Ecuador’s Interior Ministry reported Sunday.
About 11.85 tons of cocaine were discovered in a container heading to Belgium in the port of Guayaquil Saturday, the largest seizure of the year, Vice Minister of the Interior Diego Fuentes said during a press conference.
"Field tests determined that 474 bags contained cocaine. Each one weighed approximately 25 kilo(gram)s, giving a total of 11.85 tons of cocaine,” said Fuentes, corresponding to an estimated value of at least US$480 million.
An investigation was opened, while the representative of the export agency who sent the shipment was put under arrest.
"This was a message to drug trafficking organizations, especially at the ports and airports. In the coming weeks, we will make more large-scale interventions," said Fuentes.
"We will not allow these networks ... to circumvent controls, we are ready to renew our efforts to neutralize these illegal exports," warned Fuentes.