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.

Compartir icon icon icon

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

Related Content

CONTRABAND / 22 JUL 2013

At least $50,000 worth of contraband gasoline is crossing from Ecuador into Peru each day, according to police, as…

ECUADOR / 24 OCT 2012

Ecuadorean police have dismantled two criminal networks stretching from South and Central America to Eastern Europe, highlighting Ecuador's growing…

ARGENTINA / 28 JAN 2019

Although human trafficking continues to surge on the continent, improved legislation and the investment in social platforms are leading to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…