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Colombia receives formal request from US for extradition of accused drug trafficker

Dairo Antonio Usuga, known as Otoniel, leader of the Clan del Golfo, or Gulf Clan, drug trafficking group captured in October

Busra Nur Cakmak   | 26.11.2021
Colombia receives formal request from US for extradition of accused drug trafficker

ANKARA

Colombia has received a formal request from the US for the extradition of an accused drug trafficker.

Dairo Antonio Usuga, known as Otoniel, leader of the Clan del Golfo, or Gulf Clan, a drug trafficking group, was captured by Colombian security forces on Oct. 24.

"The government has already formally received the request for the extradition of alias 'Otoniel' by the United States of America. The administrative procedures have already been carried out in the Ministry of Justice and in the Chancellery, and yesterday that request was made available to the Supreme Court of Justice," said Colombian President Ivan Duque in a statement.

Duque said that he had already spoken to Supreme Court of Justice President Luis Antonio Hernandez for him to deal with the matter quickly.

The president also said the second head of the Gulf Clan, Antonio Moreno Tuberquia, known as Nicolas, will also going to be extradited to the US.

"This extradition is very important because we have been waiting for that decision for several years, and that is also a true blow to the structure of the Clan del Golfo," he said.

According to Duque, the country has captured the largest number of tons of cocaine in the history of the fight against drug trafficking in Colombia, with 595 tons so far in 2021, the figure was 500 tons in 2020.

Otoniel was the last major heir to criminal paramilitary groups demobilized during the government of Alvaro Uribe. Military forces had been on his trail for years. He was unable to sleep two nights at the same location because security forces were constantly tracking him.

Police Director General Jorge Vargas said Otoniel and his closest men were suffering from hunger because law enforcement operations had them surrounded.

He did not allow anyone around him to use cell phones and before any meeting, he made participants change clothes and toss them because he feared being located by GPS.

Colombia seizes cocaine worth $300M

Security forces on Tuesday captured 10 tons of cocaine belonging to the armed rebel organization National Liberation Army (ELN) after raiding two laboratories in the town of Samaniego on the country's border with Ecuador.

In a statement to the press, Defense Minister Diego Molano stated that "10 tons of cocaine with a market value of $300 million was seized in two laboratories belonging to ELN" in a joint operation of the army, police and air force.

The ELN was to transfer the seized cocaine to the US via Central American countries, he added.

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