WORLD NEWS

Cocaine found in Ecuador diplomatic mail

Feb 9, 2012, 11:57 PM

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) – Ecuador’s foreign minister says police in Italy found nearly 90 pounds (40 kilos) of cocaine in diplomatic mail sent to the Mediterranean country and two suspects have been arrested.

Ricardo Patino said Thursday that the Italians asked permission last month before opening eight crates and found the drugs.

He says the crates had been inspected by police dogs before leaving Ecuador, but had traveled to Italy through a third country he didn’t identify.

Patino says one of those arrested is Cristian Loor, an Ecuadorean who obtained foreign service permission to use its diplomatic mail to send objects for a theatrical production promoting Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands.

Ecuador is a transit country for cocaine shipments, chiefly from Colombia.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Cocaine found in Ecuador diplomatic mail