This is the explosive moment a police officer’s car filled with £1.5m worth of cocaine exploded at a petrol station in Argentina.
According to Argentine media, Sergeant Sofía Esther Chaparro’s car was full of 20 kilos of drugs and she was with her three children at the time of the explosion.
The explosion, which caused clouds of cocaine to be launched into the air, occurred in Orán, in the province of Salta, the capital of the province, last Wednesday.
The Buenos Aires City Police and her three children were not in the car at the time, as she had stopped and they had gotten out at the gas pump.
After the explosion, bystanders said the ground around her was covered in white dust. Even more packages of drugs wrapped in yellow paper are also said to have vanished.
Security camera images captured the scene before the explosion in which 20 kilos of cocaine were dumped at the gas station.
Bystanders said that the ground surrounding the explosion was covered in white powder after the explosion.
The images show the aftermath of the explosion in which 20 kilos of cocaine were thrown onto the gas station.
The assistant prosecutor of Orán, María del Carmen Núñez, told Télam that ‘he claimed to have taken the car out of a workshop hours before and that he had gone to fill the gas tank to continue the trip back to Buenos Aires.’
Chaparro, who is under house arrest, refused to testify in court.
She has since been charged with transportation of narcotics. According to the Beunos Aires Herald, sources from the Internal Affairs Division of the Police Force said that the sergeant was separated from her duties while investigators try to establish if 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 Chaparro owned the car with her ex-husband.
Two of Chaparro’s three children are said to be disabled, prompting the prosecutor to allow him house arrest, so he can continue caring for them.
Argentina’s provincial police forces are considered highly susceptible to corruption.
An Insight Crime article explains that although Argentina is considered one of the safest regions in Latin America, there is a “serious problem” of corruption.
In part because of past failed reform efforts, the country’s provincial police forces are vulnerable to organized crime.
South America accounts for 30 percent of global cocaine production, but most of it is not found in Argentina.
Colombia is believed to have more than half a million acres of land used for coca production and produces more than 1,000 tonnes of the drug each year, worth more than £100 billion on the street in the UK.
South America produces almost a third of the world’s cocaine and Colombia produces more than a thousand tons each year.
Traffickers use power generators to move drugs from one place to another, often disguised as another product.