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MARCH 13, 2023

Drug seizure: PDI prevents entry of more than 1.6 tons into Chile

Thanks to Operation Franke V, the PDI has carried out the biggest drug seizure so far in 2023, taking marijuana, cocaine base and cocaine hydrochloride out of circulation. 

The Policía de Investigaciones (Investigative police service, PDI) Metropolitan Anti-Narcotics Brigade has made the biggest drug seizure so far this 2023. The seizure followed a drug trafficking investigation carried out by the South Metropolitan Regional Prosecutor’s Office as part of Operation Franke V. 

Investigative work used the analyses and techniques outlined in Law 20.000. This allowed the team to identify a group of subjects in La Serena, Coquimbo Region, who were to receive an indeterminate number of drugs on roads inland from Copiapó, Atacama Region. 

PDI Anti-Narcotics officials were deployed in the area and managed to locate the vehicle that was transporting the drugs. This made it possible to detain the driver. 

The investigation will continue in accordance with the investigative and criminal prosecution strategy, as an evaluation of assets is being carried out to prove the criminal organization has engaged in the crime of money laundering. 

The evidence was reported to prosecutor Cristian Suárez Pérez of the South Metropolitan Regional Prosecutor’s Office. It will be made available to the Twelfth Guarantee Court of Santiago during Monday, March 13. 

Seized drugs: marijuana and cocaine 

  • The drugs seized by the Anti-Narcotics Brigade are: 
  • Cannabis sativa: 1,016 kilos and 449 grams, which corresponds to 1,016,000 doses, valued at $5.08 billion Chilean pesos (US$6,350,000) 
  • Cocaine base: 618 kilos and 638 grams, which corresponds to 9,270,000 doses, valued at $9.27 billion pesos (US$11,541,150) 
  • Cocaine hydrochloride: 64 kilos and 437 grams, which corresponds to 128,000 doses, valued at $1.28 billion pesos (US$1,594,261) 

In total, more than 1.6 tons of drugs were seized, worth a value of $15.63 billion (US$19,537,500). 

Those arrested and modus operandi 

The detainee has been identified as Chilean Joaquín Eliazar Werchez Araya, who has a police record for homicide in 2017. 

The drugs were on route from Copiapó to Santiago, passing through Coquimbo, in a Fiat van that has serious mechanical damage.