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Mexican Customs at Manzanillo find ‘extremely toxic’ shipment of mercury bound for Chile

Manzanillo, Colima — Elements of the Secretariat of the Navy of Mexico (Semar) and the National Customs Agency of Mexico (ANAM) secured a shipment of mercury bound for Chile.

On Sunday, the agencies reported locating 644 kilos of mercury classified as “extremely toxic” bound for Chile with a value of around 647,000 peso.

Derived from the analysis carried out by the Manzanillo Customs Risk Analysis Group, the mercury was located inside roller conveyors which were labeled as merchandise intended to be exported to Chile.

In order to rule out the presence of illicit substances, the cargo was reviewed and when drilling the rollers, a substance with characteristics of mercury was found. Laboratory personnel proceeded to take the corresponding sample to identify the substance, which was determined to be mercury.

Customs authorities proceeded to seal the containers to prevent spills. Derived from the high toxicity of mercury, a hearing has been set with the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), which is responsible for the control, management, regulations and restrictions for the use and commercialization of mercury.

The Federal Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) was also notified to carry out the complete extraction of the chemical.

Mexican Customs personnel identified the concealment of mercury in export operations as a new form of illicit trafficking, so the finding remains as a precedent of future alerts.