THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — An alleged drug baron wanted in the Netherlands over his suspected involvement in cocaine and methamphetamine was arrested in Colombia, the European Union police agency Europol said Thursday.
The arrest comes amid sustained efforts to disrupt networks of traffickers who smuggle huge amounts of cocaine into Europe, often through ports in the Netherlands and neighboring Belgium.
Dutch authorities have arrested several alleged gangsters in recent years linked to the country’s violent and lucrative drug trafficking networks.
The 43-year-old Colombian national was detained Tuesday in the western city of Tulua on a Dutch warrant and is now in custody awaiting extradition. His name was not released.
The Dutch Public Prosecution Office said in a statement that the suspect is allegedly a “key player in an ongoing investigation and is suspected of cocaine smuggling, participation in a criminal organization and money laundering.”
Europol helped the Dutch-led investigation with intelligence on Mexican and Colombian drug cartels gained from encrypted communications. It said that the probe tied the suspect to a seizure of 2.5 metric tons (2.76 tons) of methamphetamine in 2019. He is also suspected of involvement in the laundering of 20 million euros ($22.4 million).
Europol said that over the course of the investigation, which also involved law enforcement agencies in Spain, the United States and Colombia, “several drug labs were dismantled in Europe, and over 50 suspects arrested.”
They described the Colombian suspect as having been “on the run, with law enforcement across the world working together to locate him and bring him to justice.”
Source : AP