03 Jul '11, 8am

Ecuador seizes 11.3 tonnes of drugs in first half of the year

QUITO - AROUND 11.3 tonnes of drugs were seized in Ecuador during the first half of 2011, 10 per cent more than the same period in 2010, authorities said on Saturday. According to the state-run news agency Andes, citing local anti-narcotics police, cocaine was the most commonly seized drug between January and June and 2,082 people were arrested for allegedly producing, marketing or shipping drugs abroad during that time. Last month, Ecuadoran authorities rejected a statement by a US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) official that the country is becoming the 'United Nations' of organised crime. Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said his country sent a letter on Thursday to the director of the DEA for the Andean region, Jay Bergman, 'seeking clarification' about the statement. In 2009, Ecuadoran authorities took back control of the US air base at the Pacific port of Manta,...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIS...

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