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  HOME | Latin America (Click here for more)

Drug Cartel Leader Arrested in Paraguay

ASUNCION – A suspected Paraguayan cartel boss was arrested by drug enforcement agents in Ciudad del Este, some 330 kilometers (205 miles) from Asuncion, with more than 100 kilos (220 pounds) of cocaine seized in the process, officials said.

Tomas Rojas Cañete was arrested Sunday together with another nine people in one of his luxury homes in that city, Paraguay’s second-largest, located in the triple border region where the borders of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina converge.

The arrest of the 37-year-old Rojas was the result of an operation carried out by several prosecutors from Asuncion at four different properties, with the drug bust made at one that was ostensibly a soccer club, the Senad drug enforcement agency said.

“Operation Proceres consisted of at least six almost simultaneous raids led by anti-drug prosecutors Francisco de Vargas, Javier Ibarra, Jorge Kronawetter and Carlos Alcaraz, along with Ciudad del Este prosecutor Manuel Rojas,” the Senad said.

A group of agents raided the Club Acosta Ñu, at kilometer 2 Monday, which was in fact a cocaine processing laboratory and where 99 packs of the drug were found that totaled slightly more than 101 kilos (222 pounds), the Senad said.

The authorities also confiscated documents, firearms and 10 luxury vehicles.

In another house, located in the Carmelitas neighborhood of Ciudad del Este, Rojas was taken into custody on grounds of heading one of the biggest crime families in that city, the report said, adding that the operation was carried out “after some 10 months of intelligence work.”

Rojas, however, became the center of attention several days ago after a police officer suspected of working for him killed a little boy when he shot at the vehicle in which the child was riding with his parents, an incident currently under investigation by the local District Attorney’s Office. EFE
 

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