QUITO, May 6 (Xinhua) -- Ecuadorian police have dismantled an international drug trafficking ring and seized 250 packets of drugs in the coastal province of Santa Elena, the country's deputy minister of internal security, Diego Fuentes, announced Saturday.
The raid, which took place on Friday, was carried out by the the police's anti-drugs unit, leading to 23 arrests, the seizing of 250 packets of drugs, a boat, two outboard motors and a vehicle, Fuentes said at a press conference.
Fuentes congratulated the police operation for having given "a hard blow to drug trafficking. We are giving complete priority to operations against drug trafficking and organized crimes."
The deputy minister added that this ring had been sending large quantities of drugs via countries of North and Central America, using rapid boats leaving from the fishing port of Anconcito in Santa Elena.
During the operation, various people were seen at a dock unloading the packages of drugs from a vehicle, with the intent of placing them on a boat.
Since January, Ecuador's anti-drugs efforts have led to seizing 23.5 tons of drugs, of which 17.67 tons were aimed at international drug trafficking, according to the Interior Ministry.
In 2016, the country seized a record of 110.4 tons of drugs, mostly cocaine.