Quito, Nov 15 (EFE) .- A total of thirteen people, including officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) of Ecuador, were detained as part of an operation against the contraband of merchandise from Peru, the Ecuadorian Interior Ministry reported today.
In the operation called "Fortaleza 194", which was developed this morning after three months of investigations, 15 buildings were searched.
In a statement, the Ministry indicated that in the criminal organization, "dedicated to the crime of smuggling", there were officials of the MAG who, with the illegal use of the Certificate of Origin of Mobilization of Agricultural Products, legalized the contraband goods.
The products of contraband entered by unauthorized steps of the southern border, explained Interior Minister César Navas, who reiterated the policy of "zero tolerance" to organized crime and corruption in state institutions.
Among the evidence gathered in the operation, developed in the Loja, Zapotillo and Metropolitan districts of Quito, there are two firearms, 72 ammunition of different caliber, eight vehicles and two motorcycles, among others, the Ministry said in a statement.