Colombian police seize mobile cocaine lab

March 9th, 2009 - 10:36 am ICT by IANS  

Bogota, March 9 (IANS) Police in the central Colombia have found and seized a mobile cocaine laboratory and arrested two suspects, EFE reported.
The lab, which was seized Saturday in Cundinamarca province, had the capacity to produce “between 50 and 100 kg of cocaine weekly,” provincial police chief Colonel Fabio Castaneda said.

“Officers seized chemicals and equipment for processing cocaine,” Castaneda said, adding that the two suspects were arrested in this connection.

Last month, police in the southwestern province of Valle del Cauca had seized a mobile cocaine laboratory that had been mounted on a truck and arrested the vehicle’s driver.

According to the police, drug traffickers use such mobile laboratories to avoid police checks and mainly to produce cocaine for the local market.

Colombia is a major drug producing country in South America and its southwestern coasal zone has become a battleground for drug traffickers, right-wing militias and leftist rebels.

All are struggling to impose control on a strategic patch of geography where coca is grown, converted into cocaine and shipped to North American consumers.

Colombian police have seized 12 tonnes of cocaine so far this year. One tonne of cocaine has an estimated street value of $25 million in the US.

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