2012-03-14

Colombia Arrests 14 Alleged Drug Traffickers Sought for Extradition by the US

In Operation Phoenix, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Colombian National Navy succeeded in arresting 14 alleged members of a drug-trafficking gang, all of whom are sought for extradition by the United States. Photo: Courtesy of the Colombian National Navy

In Operation Phoenix, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Colombian National Navy succeeded in arresting 14 alleged members of a drug-trafficking gang, all of whom are sought for extradition by the United States. Photo: Courtesy of the Colombian National Navy

AFP

Colombian authorities have arrested 14 alleged members of a drug-trafficking gang sought for extradition by the United States, in an operation carried out in five cities in the country, the Public Prosecutor’s Office announced on March 12.

Following three years of investigation, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Navy made the arrests “simultaneously” in the cities of Bogotá, Medellín (in northwestern Colombia), Cali (in the southwest), Barranquilla (in the north), and Cartagena (in the north), the Public Prosecutor’s Office specified on its website.

The individuals arrested are sought by a judge in the Southern District of New York, in Manhattan, “on charges of drug trafficking and criminal conspiracy,” the agency recalled.

This organization had laboratories in southwestern Colombia for the production of drugs, which were then transported to and temporarily stored in cities on the Colombian Atlantic Coast.

The drug-trafficking group, from which around 900 kilos of cocaine were seized in Barranquilla in 2010, collaborated with “Los Rastrojos” [The Stubble], “Los Urabeños,” and “Los Paisas,” the major Colombian criminal gangs that arose following the demobilization of paramilitary organizations between 2003 and 2006.

Those arrested were transported to Bogotá to face extradition proceedings, the Public Prosecutor’s Office stated.

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