HomeNewsBriefPeru Postal System Used by Drug Trade
BRIEF

Peru Postal System Used by Drug Trade

PERU / 19 JUL 2012 BY MICHAEL KANE EN

Although Peru’s Postal Service claims that a crackdown on drug trafficking through the mail has been effective, traffickers are still able to transport drugs using the country’s mail system.

Infosurhoy.com reported that officials from the Peruvian Postal Service (Serpost) extolled its counter-narcotics procedures. The agency first detected concealed narcotics in packages moving through their facilities in 2005. A spokesperson for the agency said that, in response, over the years it has purged its workforce to eliminate criminal elements and reinforced inspection standards, passing each of the 5,000 daily international parcels through three X-ray machines to search for narcotics.

In addition, Serpost installed cameras to supervise workers and hired counter-narcotics agents and a special prosecutor to deal with the problem. The counter-narcotics agents use drug-sniffing dogs to detect hidden drugs.

In the first five months of 2012, 60 kilograms of cocaine were seized from parcels, the majority of which were destined for Spain.

InSight Crime Analysis

Traffickers use diverse methods to hide narcotics in parcels, including concealing them in jars of food and natural remedies. They also submerge clothing and blankets in liquid cocaine, to absorb the drug. This is an increasingly popular method of hiding cocaine from X-ray and ultrasound machines.

Despite Serpost’s efforts to combat the movement of drugs through their centers, the combination of high volumes of traffic and changing methods of camouflaging drugs make it difficult to combat the trade. Six postal workers and a customs official were arrested between 2007 and 2010 for involvement in conspiracies to traffic drugs through Serpost.

In addition, tracing packages back to their original source is often nearly impossible. One trafficker, Segundo Mirando Ordoñez, who was arrested in 2009 for mailing cocaine to Spain, continued to operate a mail smuggling ring out of a prison for two years, hiring postal workers to participate in an elaborate scheme to move the drug to the US and Europe. Last September, a former officer from the Peruvian National Police was arrested for colluding with Mirando.

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

PERU / 10 OCT 2011

President Ollanta Humala selected a little-known Lima police chief to head Peru's National Police, amid a wave of shake-ups of…

BRAZIL / 22 APR 2020

Thefts of tests, ventilators and personal protective equipment have shot up across Latin America amid the coronavirus pandemic, threatening lives…

COUNTERFEIT / 5 MAY 2014

Authorities in Peru have confiscated tens of thousands of counterfeit dollars destined for Nigeria, highlighting the use of nations in…

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…