QUITO, Ecuador (AP) – Ecuador’s official news agency says police have found a cocaine-processing lab near where a small Mexican-registered plane crashed over the weekend with $1.3 million in cash aboard.
Andina news agency says three people were arrested and a half ton of cocaine seized at the lab Wednesday.
Andina also says authorities assume the plane was carrying more than the $1.3 million that was found after it crashed, killing the pilot and co-pilot. It identifies them as presumed members of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel.
Unlike neighboring Peru and Colombia, Ecuador is not known to cultivate coca, the basis of cocaine. But it is a transit country and authorities say they dismantled five cocaine labs in Ecuador last year and have found four so far this year.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)