Ecuador, Belgium sign deal to fight crime after mega cocaine bust

Ecuador and Belgium on Monday agreed to increase bilateral cooperation in their fight against international organized crime, a day after Ecuadorean police seized nearly nine tonnes of drugs bound for the European country.

The interior ministers of both countries signed an agreement in Quito to promote the exchange of information, methodology, procedures and experiences, as well as technology to combat organized crime.

Ecuadorean police found some 8.78 tons of cocaine hidden in a container with bananas, the organization said on Sunday.

The drugs were to be exported from Ecuador’s coastal city of Guayaquil to Belgium, police said, adding the shipment was valued at about $330 million in Europe.

President Guillermo Lasso, a conservative former banker, has pushed for Ecuador to ramp up efforts to fight gangs that use the country as a transit point for shipping cocaine to the United States and Europe.


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