HomeNewsBriefExtent of Argentina Party Drug Ring Unfolds
BRIEF

Extent of Argentina Party Drug Ring Unfolds

ARGENTINA / 18 OCT 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Authorities in Argentina have arrested a man posing as the head of a travel company to sell synthetic drugs at parties around Buenos Aires and in neighboring countries, as an unprecedented case involving domestic party drug production continues to unfold.

In a series of nine raids around Buenos Aires, police dismantled seven drug laboratories and seized 12,293 ecstasy tablets, 28 liters and 1,240 doses of ketamine, 2.3 kilos of cocaine, 300 LSD tabs, and 200 doses of ephedrine, worth a total of almost $16 million, reported La Nacion.

Police arrested five suspects, among them Raul Martin Maciel, who had claimed to be a director of student travel agency Travel Rock, and Julio Cesar Martinez, who was arrested and subsequently released in September in connection with the same case, reported Clarin.

According to investigators, Maciel led a drug trafficking operation that sold synthetic drugs at electronic parties and clubs around Buenos Aires and other parts of the country, and exported them to other countries including Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and Brazil. The directors of Travel Rock have denied any links to the case, stating that Maciel was not one of the 27 company directors.

The seizures and arrests are the latest developments in a case that emerged in late September after authorities discovered an ecstasy laboratory in Buenos Aires run by a Spanish citizen, where they seized some 25,000 ecstasy tablets. According to Clarin, the newly uncovered factories were dedicated to producing horse tranquilizer ketamine.

InSight Crime Analysis

The discovery that Argentine drug traffickers have begun producing synthetic party drugs domestically, instead of importing them as in the past, underscores the growing and profitable local market for the drugs. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, young people in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Colombia are the biggest ecstasy and amphetamine consumers in the region.

The latest developments of this case exposes a well-organized horizontally integrated network involved in producing, transporting and distributing the drugs, suggesting networks dedicated to supplying this market are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

It is also another sign that Argentina lacks adequate mechanisms to combat the flow of chemicals used in synthetic drug production. The country has become a major center for precursor chemicals used in cocaine production and also an important transit point for chemicals used to produce methamphetamine.

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

ARGENTINA / 7 MAY 2021

The cat-and-mouse game of evading law enforcement was taken literally by drug smugglers recently in Panama, who hid cocaine on…

ARGENTINA / 29 NOV 2013

In recent years, Argentina has seen rising violence and an influx of foreign drug traffickers as cocaine floods the country…

ARGENTINA / 2 MAY 2017

Microtrafficking is on the rise in Argentina, according to a new report. New trends are impacting the trafficking landscape, but…

About InSight Crime

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…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…