By Eduardo Szklarz / Diálogo
November 10, 2021
During two consecutive operations, the Argentine National Gendarmerie seized two narco-planes. During the first operation, on September 29, 2021, the gendarmes seized a twin-engine plane with a Uruguayan tail number in a hangar in the Argentinian city of Concordia, in the province of Entre Ríos. The seizure was made possible through an exchange of information with the Uruguayan police and air force.
Investigators discovered that the plane was on irregular flights that started in Paraguay, where criminals loaded the drugs, then continued on to Uruguay, where the drugs entered the market. “These transfers also included the province of Entre Ríos, Argentina, where [criminals] established operational and logistical connections, ”the gendarmerie said in a statement.
A few days earlier, on September 26, the light plane had landed in a field in the Department of Artigas, Uruguay, where Uruguayan police had seized 400 kilograms of basic cocaine paste. “The plane spent four minutes in a field in the Baltasar Brum area, where the drugs were unloaded. However, the Uruguayan police could not intercept the cargo, so the authorities notified the Argentine gendarmerie to continue the search, ”the Uruguayan newspaper said. The Diaria reported.
The gendarmerie found the plane three days later in Concordia, after having carried out six raids. Staff also found two shotguns, five revolvers, GPS equipment and $ 52,300 near the plane. “The anti-drug directorate of the gendarmerie, the anti-drug investigation unit of Buenos Aires, the criminal unit of Gualeguaychú and the operational units Concepción del Uruguay and Concordia participated in the joint operation,” reported the Argentine ministry of Security. Three Argentines were arrested.
Following the seizure at Concordia, the gendarmerie resumed investigations to dismantle the criminal group. On October 1, soldiers raided an airfield in the city of San Pedro, in the province of Buenos Aires, where they found another plane.
“It is a single-engine plane, registered in Argentina,” said the gendarmerie. Officers also seized flashcards, GPS equipment, and handouts to continue data collection efforts.
“The operation was a triangulation of illegal drug trafficking through irregular flights that transferred drugs from Paraguay to their destination in Uruguay, using Argentine territory only as a base for air logistics supplies,” the gendarmerie said. .
According to the Argentine press agency Telam, the main hypothesis is that the transnational organization uses a field in the province of Entre Ríos to cross into Uruguay due to its proximity. According to the agency, investigators believe drug traffickers are using a third plane that has been seen landing in Uruguayan fields. “A search is underway for this third aircraft, whose registration number has already been identified, in the Argentinian hangars”, Telam reported.