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The Mexican leader of one of the most powerful cartels in Argentina, “Los Zetas”, has been arrested in La Plata after a series of raids found 50 kg of cocaine hidden in heating pads. The drug had been diluted within the insulating gel. A Colombian and an Argentine were also arrested in connection to the confiscation.
The heating pads and their content were designated to leave for Portugal, valued at €20 million on the European market. Due to its destination, the operation has been labelled “Operation Lisbon” by the superintendent of Buenos Aires police. Thousands of heating pads of various sizes were located and tested.
Operation Lisbon consisted of six raids upon the orders of provincial prosecutor Lomas de Zamora Alberto Gentili and provincial judge Alberto Santamarina. Aside from the cocaine, the raids uncovered passports, US$5,000, sterilizing machines and other documents relevant to the investigation.
The Colombian and the Mexican were arrested in the north of La Plata and the Argentine was arrested in a facade store set up by the criminals. The store sold therapeutic products, masking its trade with the European drug market.
The heating pads were planned to be shown at a fair in Argentina and then taken to Lisbon as a contribution towards new therapeutic and medical advancements.