Peru police seize 2 tons of cocaine
March 31, 2008 - International Herald Tribune/The Associated Press

LIMA, Peru: Police seized 2 metric tons (2.2 tons) of cocaine and arrested four alleged members of an international drug-trafficking gang, Peruvian officials said Sunday.

In two coordinated raids, police confiscated 1.5 metric tons (1.7 tons) of cocaine from a house in a Lima suburb and the rest from a building in the neighboring port of Callao late Saturday, said Col. Demetrio Perez Vargas, chief of information for Peru's national police.

A Venezuelan and three Peruvians were arrested, police said in a statement. The cocaine, found hidden in king-size mattresses, was apparently destined for Europe.

Interior Minister Luis Alva Castro told reporters the drugs came from the coca-producing Apurimac River Valley southeast of Lima, where last week Shining Path rebels working with drug traffickers killed a police officer and wounded 11 others in an ambush.

Peruvian authorities have confiscated nearly 10 metric tons (11 tons) of drugs in the first three months of 2008, according to the national police. The Andean country is the world's second-largest coca and cocaine producer after Colombia.
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On Saturday, the Interior Ministry announced the seizure of some 66 pounds (30 kilograms) of cocaine at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Callao wrapped in dirty blankets and allegedly bound for Spain. Two employees of Swissport International Ltd. and two airport employees were arrested.

In early March, police also seized 1.5 metric tons (1.7 tons) of cocaine and detained seven Peruvians and four Ecuadoreans on a beach in northern Peru.