Operation “Happy New Year Bolivia 2020”

La Paz, May 18th 2020 (United Nations) - The Bolivian Counter-Narcotics Police Force strengthened its operations to counter trafficking in illegal drugs, such as new psychoactive substances (NSP) and precursors using the TRUNARC drug analyzers donated by Global Affairs Canada, in the framework of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Global SMART Programme, in December 2019.

A few days after the TRUNARC portable analyzers were delivered, the Bolivian Counter-Narcotics Police officers seized one and half kilograms of synthetic drugs pills. These pills, were to be distributed and consumed at the end-of-year celebrations and presumably, at electronic parties which are largely attended by adolescents and young adults.

At more than 4,050 meters above sea level in “El Alto” International Airport, located in the highlands of La Paz, in extreme weather conditions Counter-Narcotics Police officers perform rigorous tasks to prevent illegal drug trafficking, profiling passengers and air cargo.

Dogs specially trained for drug identification and experienced anti-drug trafficking police officers in El Alto Air Terminal carried out the “Happy New Year Bolivia 2020” Operation. During the Holiday’s Season, the flow of people and cargo traditionally rises. Drug traffickers takes advantage of this situation to increase their illegal activities.

Just after walking for a few minutes by the warehouse hallways, the dogs stopped at the shelves where the mail packages are kept and made gestures indicating that they had found something. Immediately, the police seized the suspicious package and initiated their review. The package was sent from Madrid, Spain and should have been delivered to a Bolivian citizen.

Once opened, officers found two pairs of jeans and a cloth bag with a double bottom containing six packages with small pills. The semicircular pills were orange and pink and shaped with the “Jigsaw doll” and the “V for Vendetta” masks. With the help of the TRUNARC analyzer, the Counter-Narcotics Police forensic laboratory “CITESC” identified in a few seconds that the pills contained the controlled chemical substance “MDMA” (methylenedioxymethamphetamine), a synthetic drug also known as “ecstasy” rarely seen in the Bolivian market.

The rapid CISTESC reports generated with the help of the TRUNARC analyzers allow Police investigators and Prosecutors to initiate the criminal prosecution of the package´s consignee. The swift and immediate reports delivered by the TRUNARC portable analyzers provide the necessary evidence to support the initial legal proceedings, and an eventual pretrial detention hearing.

The activities of the Global SMART Programme in Bolivia are funded by Global Affairs Canada