Colombia security forces seize massive cocaine haul

Police officer counts the money found in the hand luggage of a passenger arriving from Mexico Police suspect the seized money came from a Mexican cartel to pay for drugs

Related Stories

The Colombian security forces say they have seized a massive haul of cocaine in the port city of Cartagena.

Sniffer dogs found more than 12 tonnes of the drug hidden in a shipment of brown sugar destined for Mexico.

It is believed to belong to one of Colombia's most powerful drug gangs, the Rastrojos.

In another development, police at Bogota airport arrested a Mexican national who had arrived with $2.8m (£1.7m) in his hand luggage.

Sniffer dogs checking a ship bound for Veracruz in Mexico alerted their handlers to the presence of drugs in the hull of the vessel.

Laboratory tests revealed a large shipment of brown sugar had been laced with cocaine.

Investigative teams are still testing the sugar, which had been packed into 33,450 units of 500g each, to determine the exact concentration of cocaine.

However, officials say it already amounts to more than 12 tonnes of the drug.

It is one of largest hauls of cocaine seized in Colombia over the past years.

'New enemy'

Map of Colombia

Police said it came from the Valle del Cauca region, in the south-west of Colombia.

The area is the stronghold of the Rastrojos, a drug gang which exports large amounts of cocaine to Central America and Mexico.

The Colombian government recently declared criminal gangs its new enemy and promised to devote more resources to the fight against them.

In January, Defence Minister Rodrigo Rivera told Colombian news magazine Semana drug gangs were increasingly taking control of drug-trafficking networks from Colombia's left-wing Farc guerrillas.

Also on Monday, police officers detained a Mexican national, Jesus Ochoa, who is from Culiacan in the state of Sinaloa.

Officers said they suspected the cash was payment for drugs shipments to Mexico's Sinaola cartel.

"It's one of the biggest cash seizures in recent years," the customs authorities said in a statement.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Latin America & Caribbean stories



  • Witley Court in Worcestershire Abandoned mansions

    What happened to England's lost stately homes?

  • Tray of beer being carried10 Things

    Beer is less likely to slosh than coffee, and other nuggets

  • Spoon and buckwheatSoul food

    The grain that tells you a lot about Russia's state of mind

  • Woman readingWeekendish

    The best reads you need to catch up on

  • Salim Rashid SuriThe Singing Sailor

    The young Omani who became a pre-war fusion music hit

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.