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Last Updated: Friday, 9 February 2007, 06:23 GMT
Cuba deports suspected drug baron
Luis Hernando Gomez Bustamante is fingerprinted in Bogota on 8 February 2007
Mr Gomez Bustamante has spent over two years in a Cuban jail
The Cuban government has deported to Colombia a suspected narcotics baron wanted in the US on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering.

Colombian officials escorted Luis Hernando Gomez Bustamante, 49, from Havana to Bogota on a government plane.

Mr Gomez Bustamante, who is also known as "Rasguno", or "Scratch", is an alleged head of Colombia's biggest drug cartel, Norte del Valle.

He was arrested in Cuba in July 2004 after entering on a false passport.

Officials in both Cuba and Colombia confirmed that the deportation had been completed.

The US is seeking his extradition and had offered a $5m (£2.55m) reward for information leading to his arrest.

An unidentified Colombian official told the Associated Press news agency that an order had already been signed to send Mr Gomez Bustamante to the US.

Norte del Valle became Colombia's most powerful drugs organisation after the dismantling of the Medellin and Cali cartels in the 1980s and early 1990s.

According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, it is believed to be behind as much as 60% of all the cocaine consumed in the US.




SEE ALSO
Colombia seizes $54m drugs cash
18 Jan 07 |  Americas
Colombian 'drugs baron' captured
16 Jan 07 |  Americas
Cuba seizes Colombia 'drug chief'
09 Jul 04 |  Americas
Country profile: Colombia
07 Dec 06 |  Country profiles

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