While some stories hit on one or two of InvestBA’s main content categories, sometimes we unearth a gem that covers all the bases: Trade, Foreign Investment, Buenos Aires Events, andÂ Entrepreneurs.
The Argentina/Chile Dakar Rally kicked off in BA back in January, and the event was a major success for the second consecutive year. What has come to light recently is a massive drug deal that some Spanish traffickers had been plotting for over a year, according to INTERPOL.
The cartel used the Rally as a front for shipping a Mercedes-Benz truck emblazoned with fake Dakar and Red Bull logos to BA, driving it to a private residence in a high-end neighborhood, hiding 814 kilos of cocaine in a sub-floor of the vehicle and shipping the truck back to Spain. While traveling in Argentina, the drug runners donned Dakar t-shirts and even posed for pictures with locals on the highway.
When the truck arrived in Spain, it was driven through a high-tech scanner in the Port of Bilbao and the drugs were discovered. Local authorities say the dealers (7 in custody, one in exile in Chile) invested over US$500,000 in the elaborate scheme, but they stood to reap US$32 million selling the drugs in Europe or possibly 2-3x that amount if the product was moved successfully to Asia.
According to Havocscope, the black market online database, the kilos could have fetched upwards of $88,000 in Japan or $146,000 in Australia. Here in Argentina, the bust is being referred to as Operation White Dakar. While Dakar returns to BA in 2011, still no confirmation if the Spaniards will be back next year for another try. (YouTube video)