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Page last updated at 03:48 GMT, Sunday, 26 October 2008

Huge cocaine seizure in Colombia

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Colombian police have seized a 10-tonne consignment of cocaine with a street value of $200m (126m) which was reportedly about to be sent to Mexico.

The drugs were found in the Caribbean city of Barranquilla in two trucks where they were camouflaged in boxes filled with children's modelling clay.

The drugs were headed for the city of Veracruz in Mexico.

They allegedly belonged to one of Colombia's top traffickers, Daniel Barrera, nicknamed "The Madman".

The cocaine was seized after a six-month intelligence operation which tracked a drug route up to Barranquilla.

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The seized cocaine on display

The drugs were moved in two containers travelling on trucks that were to be put on a ship and dispatched to Mexico.

Gen Oscar Naranjo, the chief of Colombia's police force, said that the consignment belonged to "The Madman".

The trafficker is known to move through the eastern plains of Colombia and into Venezuela where he often bases himself out of reach of the Colombian security forces and the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the DEA.

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela does not co-operate with the US anti-drug agencies.

Colombian drug lords have taken advantage of this not only to turn Venezuela into one of the principal transit nations for cocaine, but to use it as a refuge, the BBC's Jeremy McDermott reports from Colombia.




SEE ALSO
Colombia hails end of drugs ring
22 Oct 08 |  Americas
Country profile: Colombia
19 Jul 08 |  Country profiles

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