A Buenos Aires police sergeant’s car with nearly 20 kilograms of cocaine hidden in the gas tank exploded in Orán, Salta, on Wednesday. On Friday, the sergeant told Salta police that she was unaware of the drugs in her car and that she had just taken it out of a workshop. The woman, named Sofía Chaparro, was traveling with her three children and refused to testify in court.
“She claimed to have taken the car out of a workshop hours before and that she had gone to fill the gas tank to continue the trip back to Buenos Aires,” Orán’s auxiliary prosecutor, María del Carmen Núñez, told Télam news agency.
An Orán judge ordered Chaparro to be put under preventive detention for sixty days, following the request of a prosecutor. The policewoman’s defense said she would not testify and requested she be granted house arrest so that she could care for her children, two of whom are disabled.
The incident occurred Wednesday night at a Orán gas station where Chaparro arrived aboard a Ford Fiesta with her children. According to the prosecutor’s office, Chaparro and her ex-husband own the car.
After getting everyone out of the car, the woman asked an employee to fill the tank. At that moment, the vehicle exploded, as was recorded in a video of the security cameras at the station.
After the explosion, people in the station noticed that the car and the surrounding area were covered with a white powder that turned out to be cocaine. The explosion also blew up several packages wrapped in yellow paper that contained more drugs.
Police investigators working at the scene estimated there were 20 kilograms of narcotics in the car’s tank.
The drugs and five cell phones belonging to Chaparro and her children were seized by members of the military police in charge of the investigation. The sergeant’s 13-year-old son suffered a minor eye injury and was treated at the Orán hospital.
Chaparro worked at the seventh police station in La Matanza. She was currently on medical leave and had traveled to Corrientes and then to Salta with her children, Télam reported.
Chaparro has been charged with the crime of transporting narcotics, an offense aggravated by the fact that she was a police officer. Sources from the Buenos Aires Police Internal Affairs division said that the sergeant was removed from her duties while investigators try to establish whether Chaparro acted alone or if she was part of an organization.
– With information from Télam