GUATEMALA CITY (AP) - Guatemalan authorities confiscated nearly 10 million pseudoephedrine pills worth $33 million on Tuesday - the country's biggest seizure of the methamphetamine precursor, police said.
The 9.9 million pills were seized from a shipping container at Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala's main port on the Pacific coast, said police spokesman Donald Gonzalez.
The container bore a shipping manifest listing the contents as a different kind of medication, said Leonel Ruiz, the country's top anti-drug prosecutor. Gonzalez said the shipping documents also listed a nonexistent company and address as the intended recipients of the shipment.
The Attorney General's Office says information from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration led to the seizure. The pills arrived in a ship coming from India.
Central American officials say drug cartels are increasingly smuggling pseudoephedrine through their region to get around a Mexican ban in imports of the chemical.
Bulk amounts of pseudoephedrine are produced in only a few countries, including India. For that reason, a shipment of medications originating in India and destined for Guatemala raised immediate suspicion, Ruiz said.