Colombian authorities captured 34 suspected drug traffickers wanted in the United States, in the biggest roundup of criminals for extradition in the history of the country’s war on drugs, police officials said Saturday.
The captures resulted from several months of investigations by the Dijin criminal investigation unit of the National Police in cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA.
The National Police director, Gen. Oscar Naranjo, told the press in Cali that those in custody belonged to an organization known as the Galeano Clan that had ties to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, headed by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
In the course of the investigation, 10 tons of cocaine and 16 airplanes were seized, the official said, adding that the group of drug traffickers accumulated close to 90 percent of the alkaloid produced in the southeastern part of the country, all destined for the illegal Mexican and United States markets.
The investigation led to “the greatest number of captures for extradition in the nation’s history,” Naranjo said at a government meeting in Cali presided over by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
Most of traffickers, 13, were arrested in Villavicencio, another 12 in Bogota and the rest around the country in Ibague, Manizales, Florencia and Inirida.
Those under arrest are wanted for extradition by a Miami court.