Adry Torres reports for DAILYMAIL:
Bolivian diplomat arrested trying to smuggle EIGHT KILOS of cocaine across the Argentina border inside a hidden compartment in the trunk of his car
- Diego Vega Ibarra, Bolivia’s consul in Salta, Argentina, was caught with eight kilos of cocaine Tuesday afternoon
- Argentine National Gendarmerie discovered eight plastic-wrapped bundles of the drug hidden inside a compartment where the spare tire is usually placed
- Vega Ibarra was assigned to the diplomatic post in March by former President Evo Morales [Bolivian Thoughts opinion: Dismissed in November by current Government]
- Bolivia ranks as the third highest producer of cocaine behind Colombia and Peru
- The confiscated drugs hold a United States street value of $224,000
Argentine borders cops busted a Bolivian diplomat transporting almost eight kilos of cocaine in his vehicle on Tuesday.
The Argentine National Gendarmerie pulled over Diego Vega Ibarra at a roadside checkpoint spot along Route 50 the department of Salta after he, and another passenger, crossed the Bolivia-Argentina border.
An investigator told Argentina’s national news agency, Tel Am, that the National Gendarmerie agents became suspicious when they noticed that the spare tire was not stored correctly.
‘The spare wheel was lying in the trunk and that caught the attention of the gendarmes, since it was not placed in its cabin, under the rubber canvas and the base of the trunk,’ the official said. ‘That’s why they reviewed that compartment and found the drugs.’
A routine vehicle inspection led the border officers to eight plastic-wrapped bundles of cocaine.
Border agents in Salta, Argentina, arrested Bolivian diplomat Diego Vega Ibarra on Tuesday afternoon after his car was pulled over for inspection and eight kilos of cocaine were discovered inside his trunk
An Argentine National Gendarmerie agent lifts the compartment cover where eight kilos of cocaine were hidden by a Bolivian consulate
The smuggled drugs have a United States street value of $224,000
In March, Vega Ibarra was assigned to Bolivia’s consulate office in the northwestern Argentine city of Oran by former president Evo Morales. Morales was last week granted asylum in Argentina after a short stay in Mexico following his November 10 resignation after 13 years in office.
According to the World Drug Report 2019, Colombia leads the world’s coca production followed by Peru and Bolivia.
Diego Vega Ibarra (left) watched as a border agent in Argentina lifted a trunk cover and found eight kilos of cocaine
A routine vehicle inspection led the border officers to eight plastic-wrapped bundles of cocaine hidden in the trunk of a vehicle belonging to , Diego Vega Ibarra, the Bolivian consul in Oran, a city in the Argentine department of Salta
Under Morale’s watch, the Bolivian government cut its ties with the Drug Enforcement Agency [DEA] in 2008. [Bolivian Thoughts opinion: I wonder why …]
In November, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy [ONDCP] reported that the South American country’s coca cultivation totaled 32,900 hectares in 2018, an increase of 6 percent over 2017, increasing cocaine production potential by 2 per cent to 254 metric tons.
The largest cultivation area is centered in the Yungas region. Carrasco and Chapare hold the second largest production of the Class A drug.
The report also found that production in Bolivia is 50 per cent allowed by the government by at least 10,900 hectares.