Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos has proudly announced the country’s largest drug seizure: 12 tons of cocaine value at an estimated $360 million. If anyone thought Colombia was out of the coke trafficking business – they are clearly wrong.
The record-setting cocaine haul was made near the Colombia-Panama border in the province of Antioquia at several banana plantations. The bundles of coke were being stored underground on the behalf of the Gulf Clan, authorities implied.
The days of Pablo Escobar and his drug trafficking empire are over, however, the recently signed peace treaty with the FARC guerillas has created a surge in gang violence with narcos trying to take over where the FARC left off.
The Gulf Clan is currently the most powerful cartel operating in Colombia. It is headed by Dairo Antonio Usuaga, nicknamed ‘Otoniel’ who has a $5 million price tag on his head, thanks to the U.S. The former paramilitary member is considered Colombia’s most wanted man, and is also involved in money laundering and extortion.
Last year Colombia laid claim to, at-that-time, their largest cocaine seizure at eight tons – also found in the same region.
As notable as this seizure is, there are many, many others happening as Colombia battles it reputation as a cocaine producing kingpin nation. Thus far, officials have announced the confiscation of 362 tons of cocaine in 2017. Fortune Magazine notes that the country produces nearly 700 tons of cocaine for sale and distribution annually.
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