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May 2020 - Bolivia seizes large amount of 'ecstasy' tablets from Spain

LA PAZ, Bolivia – May 2020: The Bolivian Counter-Narcotics Police Force strengthened its capacity to identify synthetic drugs including new psychoactive substances (NPS) and their precursors with handheld electronic drug analyzers donated by UNODC through the Global SMART Programme funded by Global Affairs Canada. In December 2019, days after the devices were deployed for the first time, a 1.5 kg shipment of tablets from Spain was seized at El Alto Air Terminal. The content of the tablets was identified as MDMA (‘ecstasy’), a controlled synthetic drug.

In the context of Bolivia this seizure marks a significant amount, as the country has not reported ‘ecstasy’ seizures to UNODC since 2006. Shipments containing tablets with high doses of MDMA or crystalline MDMA have become an increasing concern in Latin America and the Caribbean in recent years. The Global SMART Programme works with Governments in more than 20 countries of the region to support early warning systems and improve national capacity to identify synthetic drugs and NPS.

For more information, please see:

UNODC, UNODC Everywhere, Operation “Happy New Year Bolivia 2020” (EN, SP)

UNODC, Global SMART Newsletter for Latin America and the Caribbean: Emergence of New Psychoactive Substances in Latin America and the Caribbean (March 2019)

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