QUITO, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Ecuadorian police confiscated 1.5 tons of cocaine that was to be shipped to the United States and Europe, the country's top anti-narcotics chief, Marcos Villegas, said on Monday.
Police uncovered the cache on Sunday at a private residence in Balzar, a town in the southwest coastal province of Guayas.
Police also arrested three suspects, including a foreigner, during a search and seizure operation at the property.
Authorities believe the suspects belong to an international drug trafficking organization that uses maritime routes to smuggle cocaine and other illegal drugs, Villegas told local media.
According to the police report, officials discovered 1,498 packets of cocaine hidden inside 266 wooden planks that were to be shipped out of the port of Guayaquil, in Guayas.
So far this year, Ecuadorian police have seized 49 tons of illicit drugs in various operations around the country, and arrested some 6,942 suspects.