SANTIAGO – Authorities seized nearly 15,000 Ecstasy tablets with a street value of 300 million pesos (roughly $460,000) at Santiago’s airport, Chile’s largest-ever seizure of that synthetic drug, customs officials said.
Customs inspectors detected the consignment in the false bottom of a suitcase belonging to a German woman who was traveling from Frankfurt to the central Chilean city of Concepcion.
“The confiscated tablets, all of them blue, heart-shaped and with the word “Love” inscribed on them, sell for 20,000 pesos (around $30) each, meaning that had they been distributed they would have generated illegal revenue of some 300 million pesos (some $459,000),” the National Customs Service said in a statement.
On Friday, an X-ray scanner detected something unusual inside the suitcase, prompting a manual search that discovered the pills, it added.
Subsequent tests confirmed that the consignment was 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, or MDMA, a mood- and perception-altering recreational drug that is chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens and produces feelings of increased energy, pleasure and emotional warmth, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
It is commonly known as Ecstasy or Molly.
The 14,984 tablets and other evidence, as well as the detained German citizen, are currently in the custody of Chile’s Investigative Police, or PDI.
Harmful effects of Ecstasy can include severe dehydration, according to the National Customs Service.