Customs agents discovered 350 kilograms of cocaine hidden in fake rocks packed into a container coming from Bolivia that was scheduled to be shipped to Spain from the port of Arica, in northern Chine, officials said.
The container had arrived in Arica - which borders on Peru and Bolivia and lies 2,051 kilometers (about 1,272 miles) from Santiago - two weeks ago and its substantial weight caught the attention of customs officials, who proceeded to inspect it with a scanner and, in the process, determined that it contained four enormous rocks.
Customs then called the police and upon opening the container authorities found that the rocks were fake and had small doors in them through which the traffickers had loaded them with hundreds of packets of cocaine, prosecutor Patricio Espinoza told the La Tercera newspaper.
The cocaine seized from inside the rocks weighed 350 kilos and was destined to be shipped to Spain, the prosecutor said, adding that they were "surprised" at the creativity of the smugglers in hiding the drug.
In May, authorities discovered 50 kilos of cocaine hidden in a cargo of scrap metal destined for Italy.
Espinosa pulled an official veil of secrecy over the investigation so that authorities might be more easily able to determine all the particulars of the case, a move that was supported by Attorney General Sabas Chahuan as necessary, considering the great variety of ruses used by traffickers to transport illegal drugs.
"The means of hiding (drugs) has included shampoo, petroleum, wooden objects ... and now rocks," Espinoza said. EFE