HomeNewsBriefEcuador Tightens Controls on Diplomatic Mail After Cocaine Scandal
BRIEF

Ecuador Tightens Controls on Diplomatic Mail After Cocaine Scandal

ECUADOR / 14 JAN 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

The Ecuadorean government is implementing reforms to the diplomatic bag service in response to the discovery last year of 40 kilos of cocaine sent to Italy in diplomatic cargo.  

The Diplomatic Bag Service bylaw introduces 11 new security measures, including CCTV monitoring and digital alert systems, to prevent tampering while shipments are in storage or en route.

Under the terms of the new law, anti-narcotics police will control and monitor diplomatic shipments.

The law comes a year after a diplomatic bag of art materials for an Ecuadorean cultural event in Italy was found to contain jars holding 40 kilos of liquid cocaine.

Five Ecuadorean citizens were arrested in connection with the case. One of the accused, Jorge Luis Redroban Quevedo, allegedly has links to Central Bank President Pedro Delgado (who is also President Rafael Correa's cousin), Correa's sister, and to the Ecuadorean Consulate in Milan.

Three of the five are currently serving four to eight-year sentences, while the cases of the other two are being processed, according to Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño.

InSight Crime Analysis

According to Ecuador’s prosecutor general, the Italian shipment is an isolated case, and there is no indication that drug trafficking organizations had used diplomatic bags for moving drugs previously.

Even if this is true, other countries such as Venezuela have seen allegations of systematic abuse of the diplomatic bag service. This could also be a risk in Ecuador, which is an increasingly popular staging point for the international drug trade.

However, it could also be argued that the new law is primarily a response to the raft of unwelcome publicity Ecuador saw as a result of the original case, and leaves the transnational drug trafficking groups moving large shipments through the country to expand unchecked.

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

BRAZIL / 11 JAN 2021

Within the span of a week, cocaine was discovered in two separate maritime cargo containers bound for Libya, a strong…

ECUADOR / 4 FEB 2013

A presidential candidate in Ecuador has fallen victim to an express kidnapping, a crime becoming increasingly common across Latin…

COCAINE / 19 JAN 2018

Major cocaine seizures in Spain, Portugal and Ecuador illustrate the European cocaine pipeline that has become a central part of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Oceans Pillaged in Central America and the Caribbean

5 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the first installment of a nine-part investigation uncovering the hidden depths of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Latin America. The first installment covered Central America and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Memo Fantasma Coverage Gets Worldwide Attention

1 JUL 2022

Guillermo Acevedo, the former Colombian drug lord and paramilitary commander better known as Memo Fantasma, may soon be allowed to leave prison. Since first revealing the identity of Memo Fantasma…