Ecuador: Ports vulnerable to drug trafficking in containers

Posted on November 30, 2013 • Filed under: Crime, Drug Activity, Ecuador reported that Guayaquil is considered ‘white of regional traffickers for the transshipment of cocaine in bulk in sea containers’. This port is also used for the transfer of imported chemicals, some of which are diverted for illicit purposes. Thus concludes the United Nations Office on drugs and crime (Unodc) within its program of control of containers in Latin America and the Caribbean. Seizures reported by police corroborate this data, because so far this year they have seized from 53 tons of drugs. Of this amount, more than 20 were found in the main port. Accurate blind ‘hook’ is one of the modalities for the anti-narcotics Chief of Guayas, Wladimir León, enter the alkaloid after forcing padlocks or security seals. This became clear after the discovery of two shipments of cocaine, last August, they added nearly 9 tons. In the two raids, deployed between 20 and 28 August, the soldiers found narcotics in loads of fruit. That same mode was also observed in another seizure, on 31 October, when found 1.5 tons of cocaine that were camouflaged in pineapples, whose destination was Belgium (Europe). Why are ports vulnerable to the drug containers? Diego Castillo, executive director of the chapter Pichincha of Alliance for business and secure Commerce (BASC for its acronym in English), says that the shortcomings are the lack of controls, overconfidence in the exporters that nobody will introduce narcotics into their loads and the failure to comply with safety standards. According to the official, in the country there are about 3 000 companies that export products abroad, but “just 10% improved their securities”. In his view, this allows a full review of the container does not make before being used. This involves inspecting the cold area, security seals, walls, ceilings and finally taking photographs. Thus, “easily, at any time, breaks in supply chain security” and “the container yard is not safe because it comes either without any kind of registration,” accurate Castle. An example of this is what happened on November 7 in a workshop located in the South of Guayaquil metalworking. According to the police, the metal floor of the wagon had possibly been altered to introduce below the drug.


The researchers estimated that that way it could have hidden up to 500 kilograms of drugs. Other vulnerabilities Bruce Bagley is director of the Center for Latin American studies in United States and researcher on the phenomenon of organized crime in the Mainland. In an interview via electronic mail with EL COMERCIO, the Professor argues that the Ecuadorian coasts are vulnerable to drug trafficking because the country “has no naval capacity to patrol and collaboration with us.UU. It is very limited.” Also requires that the country’s ports are susceptible. This is also the America police community (Ameripol) report called situational analysis of the drug-trafficking, published in September. This symbol indicates that there are shortcomings in the controls due to the large volume of containers that enter and leave. Identifies to Guayaquil, Manta (Manabi) and port Bolivar (El Oro) as vulnerable to drug trafficking. According to the national counternarcotics Directorate, in the seaports of the country is check physically up to 4,5% of the containers that are mobilized in the spring. That percentage – precise dependence – applies only to cars that are open and the rest is subject to a general review. According to the Maritime Chamber of the Ecuador (Came), 1 448 000 boxes were mobilized in State and private ports last year. Of these, 712 622 left the country. But the problems of lack of controls not only are recorded in the Ecuadorian ports, according to UNODC. This organism data refer to that about 90% of world trade is carried out through containers. Of these, more than 500 million are delivered annually in supply chain and less than 2 percent are inspected. Emilio Aguiar, President of the Maritime Chamber (CAMAE), considers that there is a greater risk of contamination with drug export charge during the journey of the boxes. “Contamination can be launched from the shipment. The most dangerous is the subject of transport, since the car leaves the plant,”says the official. Also believes that it is necessary to implement more scanners and equipment that improve inspection times. “I know that anti-narcotics is in that process. We see that there is a greater effectiveness in operations.” Richard Riera, head of the anti-narcotics unit of the maritime port of Guayaquil, explained in an interview with the trade magazine of the CAMAE that, between January and October this year, agents of the Group Special Mobile Anti-Narcotics (GEMA) performed 28 operating on ports State and private of Guayaquil. “Seizures are the result of data that analyzes the ports and airports of the police (ADRU) information unit. The information provide it all those involved in the export chain, from producers to operators of merchant ships”, explained the official. According to the national anti-narcotics direction, 30 the ADRU analysts identified risk profiles, the information provided by the port operators. This group of researchers used a computer system designed to detect risk profiles. In the case of the port of Guayaquil, the load that is suspicious undergoes a review of anti-narcotics. The anti-narcotics Chief of Guayas says that agents use drug dogs and manual scanners to detect the alkaloid. Another group made patrols. US $ 74 million to improve controls The Ministry of the Interior announced that USD 74 million will be invested in the implementation of equipment to improve controls at ports and airports in the country. The Deputy Minister of that Ministry, Javier Córdova, said that purchase and equipment “everything necessary” planned to provide tools of control at ports and airports. “We are in the complex part, the fight for resources with finance, but they are already approved for 2014.” Juan Carlos Barragán, national anti-narcotics director, explained that investment – have been made not specified the amount – in the purchase of manual equipment for control, such as pagers and internal search engine of containers. The largest investment is related to the acquisition of large-size scanners. General Barragan said that four, whose unit cost was estimated at $ 5 million required. Port scanners are larger, and consist of an arch under which the trucks pass. “Analysts see what happens inside and detect suspicious cargo,” said Barragan. It added that 2,000 anti-drug policemen in the country, 300 are assigned to Guayas. The Manager of a company from Guayaquil seals for containers points out that enterprises should also worry to maintain a correct process in product safety since it leaves the port until you reach your destination. In his view, each label must have independent features to the common market that differ it from others to not be manipulated or cloned. Addition – adds the funcionaroa – each company should be interested in instructing his staff to not be swayed by the mafia to move narcotics. This was confirmed by the President of a firm dedicated to the export of palm hearts. It has two drivers were intimidated by foreigners to carry drugs. They reported what happened and changed them functions. They also reported to the police. The national police numbers Between January and October were 4 967 anti-drug operations in the country. As a result of these police operations, 4 411 suspects were apprehended. Until last October, were seized seven tonnes of drugs for information. Read Article

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