Seized drug money to be spent by govt

A Bogota judge has announced that the more than $100 million (200 billion COP) seized in five operations in the capital last year can be spent by the government, El Espectador reported Friday.

$80 million and 17 million Euros in cash were found in total and have since been converted into Colombian pesos for the government’s use. The money is presumed to have belonged to the notorious drug trafficker Daniel Barrera, alias “El Loco Barrera.”

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) worked with Colombian authorities during the operations by supplying information on the locations of the money.

Officials say that billions of dollars in cash are smuggled into Colombia annually due to the drugs trade. The money usually comes from Mexican traffickers with some also coming from Europe.

Barrera has been named as one of the two biggest drug traffickers in Colombia by the U.S. Treasury department. Currently he is thought to be operating mostly from Venezuela. The Colombian government are offering a $2.7 million award for his capture.

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