Arrests dismantle drug trafficking network operating in Manta, Guayaquil and Muisne, government says

Oct 7, 2014

In sting operation known as “Operation Pacific,” 13 Ecuadorans, along with drug ringleader Celso Moroso were arrested Monday morning by Colombian police in the border town of Pasto. Those arrested are accused of coordinating drug shipments to Mexico, the United States, and Europe. Ecuadorian authorities say those arrested were part of Ecuador’s largest drug trafficking network.

In previous operations, investigators discovered 400 kilograms of drugs on speedboat that were headed to Guatemala and Panama, where the cocaine was to be handed over to Mexican narcotic smugglers.chl serrano

According to a public statement given by Ecuador’s Interior minister, Jose Serrano, some 200 Ecuadoran police agents performed 20 house searches, where they seized 10 vehicles, a motorcycle, a yacht and firearms.

Police forces raided a farm, where they arrested three foreigners from Colombia, Dominican Republic and a third person of unknown nationality.

The gang operated in Manta with links in Guayaquil and Muisne, according to Serrano. He also said that the drug traffickers were responsible for about five to six homicides that were committed in Manabi.

According to police reports, 45 tons of drugs have been seized since 2013. In 2014, the minister anticipates that authorities will have seized 57 tons of drugs.

The organization is accused of shipping drugs to Guatemala and Panama for further distribution in Mexico and the United States, official sources reported. The dangerous drug ring has recruited police, judges and district attorneys into its ranks.

Photo caption: Ecuador Interior Minister Jose Serrano