This is the explosive moment a police officer’s car filled with £1.5m worth of cocaine blew up at a petrol station in Argentina.
According to Argentinian news outlets, the sergeant, Sofia Esther Chaparro’s car was stuffed with 20 kilos of the drug and she was with her three children at the time of the blast.
The explosion, which saw clouds of cocaine blasted around into the air, happened in Oran in the province of the provincial capital of Salta last Wednesday.
The Buenos Aires City police officer and her three children were not in the car at the time as she had pulled over and they had got out by the petrol pump.
After the blast, passers-by said that the ground surrounding it was covered in white powder. Even more drug packages wrapped in yellow paper are said to have also gone up in smoke.
Before and after the blast which saw 20 kilos of cocaine spewed out across the petrol station
Orán’s auxiliary prosecutor, María del Carmen Núñez, told Télam news agency ‘She claimed to have taken the car out of a workshop hours before and that she had gone to fill the gas tank to continue the trip back to Buenos Aires.’
Chaparro, has been put under house arrest, refused to testify in court.
She has been since been charged with transporting narcotics. According to the Beunos Aires Herald, sources from the police force’s internal affairs division said that the sergeant was removed from her duties while investigators try to establish whether she acted alone or if she was part of an organization.
At the time of the incident, Chaparro was on medical leave.
The prosecutor said that Chaparro owned the car with her ex-husband.
Two of Chaparro’s three children are said to be disabled, which is what prompted the prosecutor to allow her house arrest – so she can continue to look after them.
Passersbys said the ground surrounding the blast was covered in the white powder following the explosion
Argentina’s provincial police forces are considered to be highly susceptible to corruption.
An article on Insight Crime explains that despite Argentina being considered one of the safer regions in Latin America, there is a ‘serious problem’ with corruption.
Partly due to failed past reform efforts, the country’s provincial police forces are vulnerable to organised crime.
South America accounts for 30 per cent of the world’s cocaine production – but most of this is not in Argentina.
Columbia is thought to have over half-a-million acres of land used for the production of the coca crop and produces over 1,000 tons of the drug every year, worth over £100b in UK street value.
South America produces nearly a third of the world’s cocaine with Columbia making over a thousand tons every year
Traffickers are used to move the drug from one place to another, often disguised as another product, in the picture above – power generators