Authorities in Chile believe they have discovered a new and crafty way narco traffickers are packaging cocaine in order to avoid detection while the drug is being transported.
Customs officials in Chile arrested a Peruvian national with three shampoo bottles containing cocaine in a semi-solid’ state. Regional Customs Director Ricardo Aceituno noted “It’s the first time we’ve detected drugs in this semi-solid state and modified chemically to not generate odor.” The alleged drug mule was traveling via bus from Peru to Chile and was found to be carrying nearly 1.75 kilos, which is nearly 4 pounds of coke in cream form. A kilogram of cocaine sold in New York City can be purchased for an estimated $30,000 making the cream cocaine shampoo worth nearly $50,000 on the street.
Traffickers are trying innovative ways to move billions of dollars of illegal drugs across the world including using submarines, catapults, tunnels, among other methods. Narcos also like to hide drugs in food shipments to disguise the smell of cocaine from specially trained dogs. Unfortunately, these drug sniffing dogs are trained to detect the chemical components of cocaine, hence the ever-ending effort to reconstitute cocaine to hide its existence.
We can thank the infamous Pablo Escobar, the cocaine king and head of the Medellin cartel for introducing the world to liquefied cocaine in the 1980s. Traffickers now routinely mix coke with some solvent most likely acetone or gasoline to liquefy. Once the drug is safely at its destination it can be “reconverted” into powder by removing the liquids through evaporation or chemical manipulation and voilà it’s ready to be distributed.
It is too soon to say if cream cocaine is the next generation of liquid cocaine or if this seizure is just a one-off. What is for sure is that narcos never stop trying to figure out how not to get caught.
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