[imgl=white]http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/6236/erythroxylum12coca.jpg[/imgl]QUITO – Ecuadorian troops on Tuesday seized 9,600 coca bushes that were apparently en route to an area along the northern border with Colombia, the world’s leading producer of cocaine.
The bushes, each about 30 centimeters (1 foot) high, were found inside a truck that was intercepted in the Pacific coast province of Esmeraldas, the Ecuadorinmediato Web site said.
The Armed Forces Joint Command declined to confirm the story when contacted by Efe.
Police arrested three people in the operation and suspect the truck’s journey began in the Andean province of Imbabura, Ecuadorinmediato said.
Ecuador is far from being a (drug) producer, the head of the country’s counter-narcotics effort, Col. Patricio Pazmiño, told a press conference Tuesday.
We can afford the luxury of counting the plants seized, he said, something he contended would be impossible for major coca-growing countries such as Colombia and Peru.
Pazmiño acknowledged, however, that drug traffickers use Ecuador as a staging area and transit corridor.
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.