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Giant Bolivia cocaine factory busted

July 7, 2009 at 7:57 AM

LA PAZ, Bolivia, July 7 (UPI) -- The biggest cocaine lab ever found in Bolivia has been shut down by drug enforcement agents in the country, officials say.

Bolivian anti-narcotics officer Oscar Nina said five Colombians were arrested at the facility, which he asserted had the capacity to produce as much as 220 pounds of cocaine each day, the BBC reported Tuesday.

The BBC said the factory was found in a rural area of Santa Cruz. The government called the raid its most important blow against drug traffickers in many years and said it was the fourth major cocaine processing facility found so far this year.

The BBC quoted Bolivian Interior Minister Alfredo Rada as saying it appeared all the factories had been operating for about a year with the involvement of Colombian nationals and accused U.S. anti-narcotics agents of having failed to detect them.

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