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Police unload packages of smuggled cocaine. Police unload packages of smuggled cocaine.

Police seize 1.68 tonnes of US-bound cocaine in record bust for Mexico City

The drugs were trucked to the capital after being shipped from Colombia to the coast of Oaxaca

A huge shipment of cocaine bound for Los Angeles was seized by police in Mexico City on Tuesday, officials reported, adding that the confiscated 1.68 tonnes made for the largest cocaine bust ever in the capital city.

The contraband came by sea from Colombia and entered Mexico in the Oaxacan coastal city of Puerto Escondido, the newspaper El País reported. From there, according  to media reports, it was transported by two freight trucks to Mexico City, where some of the drug was going to be distributed in the Tepito neighborhood, though the bulk of the 3,704 lbs. of cocaine was on its way to L.A.

“This represents a strong blow to the financial structure of criminal organizations,” said Mexico City Police Chief Omar García Harfuch, who noted that the cocaine had a street value of about 400 million pesos (US $19.5 million).

Four people were detained and three vehicles, one of which was escorting the two trucks, were seized, one of them with secret compartments to hide the cocaine, El País reported. Some media reported that those arrested are Colombians, while others said they are from Durango.

Though Mexico City officials admit their city is used as a shipping point, they claim drug cartels do not operate as brazenly there as they do in other parts of Mexico.

In images shared by the police, agents are seen hammering the top of the vehicles and discovering hundreds of packages of cocaine. The bust took place in the Gustavo A. Madero borough, where Mexico City’s Norte bus station is located, and was aided by authorities from nearby México state.

García said the shipment was linked to a criminal group with a presence in the states of Sinaloa and Durango, in a remote area known as “The Golden Triangle” (which President López Obrador said in May should be rebranded as “The Triangle of Good, Hard-Working People”). 

However, the Minister of Public Security did not cite the Sinaloa Cartel or any other criminal organization by name. But noting that several drug trafficking routes have been identified, García did say intelligence work will lead to more busts going forward.

Two years ago, García was hit by three bullets when a vehicle he was traveling in was riddled by more than 400 gunshots. Two escorts from the Public Security Ministry died in that attack, as did a woman who was caught in the crossfire. Since then, 14 suspects identified as members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel have been arrested, El Pais reported.

With reports from El País

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