Make sure to check what you’re putting on your tacos—or you could be in for spicy kick of a different kind.
The Mexican Navy this week seized 217 barrels weighing 60 kg each of spicy red salsa mixed in with cocaine.
The Navy reportedly intercepted a container coming from Guayaquil, Ecuador that was headed for the port of Manzanillo, in the southern state of Colima.
Mexican authorities are increasingly intercepting cocaine loads that are being mixed with all types of substances in an effort to avoid detection.
Last February, the Mexican Navy, in conjunction with tax and customs authorities, seized a large shipment of 920 sacks of sand mixed with cocaine, also en route from Ecuador.
The South American country is reportedly becoming a major cocaine hub.
“One of the largest increases in cocaine seizures in the past five years has been observed in Ecuador, where the amount of cocaine seized rose by over 242 per cent, amounting to 50 metric tons in 2014,” reads a 2015 report by The United Nations’ International Narcotics Control Board.
But narco innovation is also coming from criminals in neighboring Colombia.
Last year, Mexico’s federal police intercepted a shipment of so-called “black cocaine” at Mexico City’s International Airport on a flight inbound from Colombia. The cocaine mixed with printer cartridge materials was reportedly headed for the northern state of Sinaloa— the turf of incarcerated drug lord El Chapo Guzmán.
There have also been recent smuggling attempts via drones and even tamales. The latest salsa stunt simply shows the drug business is an unstoppable force that will try just about anything to get its products to U.S. customers.