EFE

By Cristina Bazán

Guayaquil, Ecuador

Guayaquil, Ecuador’s second largest city and its main port, has become a hub for drug traffickers exporting tons of cocaine to Europe and the United States.

But amid increasing police checks and seizures, criminal gangs are getting creative by hiding tons of the drug inside food containers, cereal boxes, scrap metal, tea bottles and even in fake fruit like bananas and pineapples.

So far in 2022, Ecuadorian anti-narcotics police have seized 112 tons of drugs across the country, half of which were seized in Guayaquil — where over 85% of Ecuador’s non-oil export cargo is moved.

“It is a strategic point for the criminal organizations as they want to take advantage of container shipments to make illegal exports,” head of the anti-narcotics police in Guayaquil, Lieutenant Colonel Darwin Sangoquiza, tells Efe.

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