Colombia’s anti-narcotics police discovered and raided a cocaine mega-lab in the Eastern Plains belonging to neo-paramilitary gang ERPAC, Colombian media reported Friday.
The laboratory, found in Puerto Gaitan, Meta, is considered the largest Colombian cocaine lab discovered in recent years. According to reports, police discovered six tons of hydrochloride cocaine (the common form of cocaine) and 120 tons of precursor chemicals.
Authorities believe the laboratory was capable of producing up to 800 kilos of cocaine a week. The equipment in the complex is valued at about $2.6 million.
The lab is designed to sustain 40 people for nearly one month, with large amounts of non-perishable food stored and an adjacent river that could provide fish.
The drug trafficking gang ERPAC, or the Popular Revolutionary Antiterrorist Army of Colombia, began as a right-wing paramilitary organization under the umbrella of the AUC. ERPAC has mostly abandoned its ideological roots, forming strategic drug alliances with groups like the leftist guerrilla group FARC.
ERPAC is known for buying coca paste from the FARC, processing it in the Eastern Plains and exporting hydrochloride cocaine out of Venezuela or through the Pacific Coast.