Peru: Authorities destroy clandestine lab that produced 1 ton of cocaine per week

(LIP-jl) — A laboratory which produced a reported 1 ton of cocaine hydrochloride a week was destroyed by Peruvian Anti-Drug agents in the jungle department of Ayacucho, Peru.

The clandestine lab, which authorities say was run by a presumed Colombian drug cartel, was located between the Apurimac and Ene River Valleys (dubbed as VRAE) , home to one of the world’s largest coca plant growing regions.

According to a press note released by the Peruvian National Police, the clandestine laboratory was purposely built in the middle of very inaccessible terrain near the small village of Retiro. Due to the difficulties in arriving to the site, some 50 law enforcement agents were brought in by military helicopters.

30 henchmen were reportedly guarding the sight, each armed with AK-47 assault rifles.

The massive site, which was perfectly hidden under the jungle foliage, consisted of 6 areas. The laboratory’s electricity and water systems were powered by heavy duty generators.

Authorities confiscated numerous drug making machines as well as countless ingredients used to produce cocaine.

According to reports, local townspeople unsuccessfully attempted to prevent authorities from shutting down one of the biggest known labs in the region.

Although the operation was classified as ‘important’ by Peruvian officials, more needs to be done before a dent can be made into Peru’s growing drug trade and production businesses.

Peru has produced 100,000 tons of coca leaves, of which, only 9,000 tons have been verified to be used for traditional and legal purposes.