Twenty-two drug traffickers, including 11 Colombians, are captured and over $480 million seized in an international anti-narcotics operation spanning four countries, El Pais reported Thursday.
In a collaborative operation named “Fuego y Hielo” (Fire and Ice), 22 alleged narco-traffickers were captured in Colombia, Puerto Rico, Italy and Spain, along with over $480 million.
In concurrent operations carried out by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Colombian authorities, 109 properties linked to narco-trafficking were seized in the U.S. and over 200 in Colombia.
Colombian narcotics chief General Cesar Augusto Pinzon led the operation from the U.S., marking the first time that a Colombian official has been invited to command an international operation from the country.
“It’s a great blow we have given. It is one of the largest operations that has been made in the world,” he said.
Pinzon announced that among the detainees were 11 Colombians, who were arrested in the Colombian cities of Medellin, Cartagena, Cucuta and Cali. Four Italians were arrested in Italy and four in the U.S., with further arrests taking place in Spain and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.
The operation was the product of three years development, said Pinzon, with the criminal organization accused of drug trafficking and large-scale money laundering. The head of the organization, Alfo Guerrero Clavijo, alias “El Rolo,” was also captured.