Colombia captures top drug trafficker

2019-08-24 09:33
The 4.5 ton cocaine shipment seized with an estimated street value of $1.1bn in Hamburg, northern Germany. (Hamburg Customs Investigation Office, AFP)

The 4.5 ton cocaine shipment seized with an estimated street value of $1.1bn in Hamburg, northern Germany. (Hamburg Customs Investigation Office, AFP)

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The "finance chief" and brother of the head of Colombia's top drug gang was captured on Thursday, the country's president said, with a government statement accusing him of manufacturing and trafficking narcotics.

Carlos Mario Usuga, whose brother Dairo Antonio Usuga heads the Clan del Golfo gang, was captured in an "impeccable intelligence operation" between the police and the army, President Ivan Duque said.

Duque said that Carlos was Dairo's "main trusted man... who managed the finances of the drug trafficking structure, perhaps the largest in the country".

READ | German customs seize record 4.5 tons of cocaine

The US has offered a reward of $5m for Dairo Antonio Usuga, who is Colombia's most wanted man.

The gang was formed by former members of right-wing paramilitary groups which were disbanded between 2003 and 2006, according to authorities.

Military sources estimate that the gang had 1 500 members as of May 2019, down from around 4 000, after the government launched an offensive against it four years ago.

Colombia is the world's biggest producer of cocaine, much of which is destined for the lucrative US market.

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