HomeNewsBriefCream Cocaine Latest Innovation by Drug Traffickers
BRIEF

Cream Cocaine Latest Innovation by Drug Traffickers

CHILE / 2 DEC 2016 BY MIMI YAGOUB EN

Cream cocaine appears to be the latest novelty used by traffickers to help their drugs avoid detection, adding to a long list that has helped criminal groups stay one step ahead of law enforcement.

Authorities in Chile have uncovered an apparently new modality for trafficking cocaine, after three shampoo bottles containing a creamy form of the drug were seized from a bus passenger in the northern part of the country, BioBioChile reported.

"It's the first time we've detected drugs in this semi-solid state and modified chemically to not generate odor," Regional Customs Director Ricardo Aceituno explained.

The cocaine hydrochloride weighed a total of 1.75 kilograms, according to the report. The Peruvian national carrying the drugs had been travelling by bus from Lima to the Chilean city of La Serena.

InSight Crime Analysis

This unusual bust is reflective of an age-old criminal dynamic: As authorities better their drug interdiction capabilities, smuggling groups search for the most cutting-edge techniques to avoid detection of their products.

Rudimentary strategies range from hiding drugs in fish shipments -- which helps to cover up the smell -- to stuffing them into tamales and sweets. However, more complicated methods see traffickers chemically alter cocaine hydrochloride to be transported in a multitude of creative ways.

Cocaine has been trafficked in liquid form since the days of Pablo Escobar, and the method makes it harder for polic dogs to detect the drug. One way of turning the powder into liquid involves mixing it with acetone, gasoline or some other solvent. It is then soaked into clothes, pieces of paper, infused into rice or even hidden in sex toys.

SEE ALSO:  Coverage of Cocaine Production

In these cases, the cocaine is reconverted into its powder form through a chemical procedure when the shipment reaches its destination. This can be as simple as exposing the item to heat until the solvent evaporates and only the cocaine is left.

Cocaine has also been compressed into solid form and disguised to look like coal or wooden pallets.

Traffickers' creativity does not stop at the cocaine's chemical make-up; they have constantly found new methods of transporting drugs designed to dupe authorities. "Narco-torpedoes," catapults and drones are just some of the techniques detected, while many more may remain secret.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

CHILE / 2 SEP 2019

A Colombian gang leader has been accused of operating a "gota a gota" loansharking network in Chile -- evidence that…

CHILE / 2 SEP 2014

Authorities in Chile have seized over two tons of drugs intended for domestic consumption in what officials are calling the…

CHILE / 31 OCT 2012

An investigation by journalism institute CIPER has found that despite Chile's reputation as one of the safest countries in Latin…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…