Drug kingpin seized with British help
One of Colombia’s most wanted drug traffickers has been captured in Venezuela, with the help of British and US intelligence agencies, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos said.
Authorities in Colombia, one of the world’s top cocaine producers, had been closing in on Daniel “Crazy” Barrera in recent weeks, arresting 36 members of his gang and seizing five tonnes of the drug and 21 aircraft.
“Crazy Barrera has been perhaps the most wanted kingpin in recent times,” Mr Santos said. “He has dedicated 20 years to doing bad things to Colombia and the world, all types of crime, perverse alliances with the Farc [rebel group].”
Mr Santos said Barrera was captured in San Cristobal, about 15 miles from the Colombian border, in an operation directed from Washington by a Colombian police general.
The government says Barrera’s smuggling ring was capable of sending 10 tonnes of cocaine a month to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, the most powerful organised crime gang in the Americas.
Mr Santos thanked British and US intelligence agencies, as well as Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s government for their help.
A Venezuelan statement did not mention the involvement of foreign agents, saying Barrera was captured by Venezuelan forcesMr Chavez has made frequent verbal attacks on the role of western “imperialist” governments in Latin America.
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