HomeNewsBriefParaguay Seizes Drug Traffickers' Airport Scanner
BRIEF

Paraguay Seizes Drug Traffickers' Airport Scanner

PARAGUAY / 8 AUG 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

Paraguayan authorities intercepted an airport scanning machine bound for a suspected transatlantic drug trafficking operation, evidence of the increasingly sophisticated technologies being employed to avoid detection.

The scanning equipment (see photo) was seized on July 25 outside of Paraguay's capital Asuncion as part of a joint operation between Paraguayan and Spanish officials. According to authorities, it likely would have been used to prepare drug shipments meant for air transport by evaluating what containers with cocaine could evade detection. Airport security systems typically employ similar scanners to the one seized.

The intended recipient of the scanner was Conagra Meat & Poultry, a company suspected of being used as a front for drug trafficking and run by the Spanish citizen Fernando Stimac Jaen, reported Ultima Hora. Stimac was detained at his home in Asuncion in May along with a Colombian citizen and 420 kilograms of cocaine.

InSight Crime Analysis

Stimac's meat business is alleged to have been created for the sole purpose of trafficking cocaine to Europe and had even signed an agreement with the government in 2011 for the export of Paraguyan tilapia, increasing its strength as a front company. The seizure of a scanner reportedly bound for Stimac's enterprise is a worrying sign of the increased sophistication of techniques used by smugglers to get their product to Europe.

The involvement of Spanish authorities in the operation highlights the importance of Spain an entry point for cocaine bound for Europe. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, nearly half of all cocaine seizures in Europe are carried out in Spain.·

Paraguay has become a key transshipment point for cocaine, due in part to its location between major producer Bolivia and consumer Brazil, and also its high levels of corruption in the military and police who are believed to be complicit in trafficking networks. Recently, Paraguayan authorities arrested a former military colonel from the country, along with a Brazilian national, with 40 kilograms of cocaine.

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

EPP / 10 JUL 2014

A series of high-profile attacks by Paraguay's EPP guerrilla group has raised concerns that the organization is gaining strength despite…

CONTRABAND / 22 NOV 2016

A new study estimates that Paraguay's illegal economy was equal to 40 percent of the country's GDP last year, a…

BRAZIL / 26 AUG 2019

A series of raids have highlighted how widespread corruption among Paraguayan officials has allowed smugglers to operate with impunity along…

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…