Over 875 kilos of cocaine disguised as bags of rice were confiscated in Paraguay, close to the borders with Brazil and Argentina, in the largest cocaine seizure in the country’s history.
Authorities said that the contraband was most likely bound for Europe, via Mozambique, where it would have fetched around $131 million on the street, reports the Associated Press.
U.S. drug enforcement officers aided in the seizure after receiving a tip from workers at a river port in the tri-border region between Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, an area well known for drug trafficking.
In 2010 the U.S. government dropped Paraguay from the list of major narcotics-producing countries that send drugs to the U.S. Paraguayan forces seized 1,425 kilograms of cocaine over that entire year, meaning that Wednesday’s haul is more half the size of the entire seizures in 2010.
As InSight has reported, the trade in marijuana and cocaine through Paraguay is increasingly controlled by Brazilian gangs, who have moved to the neighboring country to evade security forces crackdowns at home.