BOGOTA – One of the biggest drug trafficking organizations in Colombia was dismantled and 34 people, including the gang’s three leaders, were arrested, the National Police said.
Drug enforcement agents seized 705 kilos of cocaine and 1.5 tons of marijuana in the operation.
Raids were staged against the gang, whose name was not revealed, in the southwestern province of Cauca, the northwestern province of Antioquia, the northern province of Cordoba, the northeastern province of Santander and La Guajira, a province on the border with Venezuela.
“One of the biggest criminal organizations dedicated to the production, trafficking and sale of drugs bound for Central America was dismantled,” the National Police’s drug enforcement unit said in a statement.
Jorge Mario Vidales Lopez, Orlay Sanchez Buitrago and Oscar Nicanor Guevara Mena, the gang’s leaders, were arrested in Medellin, the capital of Antioquia, along with 12 other suspects, police said.
The three men financed purchases of narcotics and smuggled them into other countries, with Panama being the main destination.
Drug enforcement agents seized eight vehicles and two boats.
The gang purchased drugs in southwestern Colombia and moved them in small quantities into Medellin, smuggling them into Panama later, police said.
The gang paid a “tax” to the Clan Usuga, the former Urabeños criminal organization, to move narcotics through its turf, police said.
“Once in Panama, the drugs continued on their way to other continents,” the National Police said.