Venezuela seeks the extradition of Walid Makled, the man believed to have murdered Colombian drug lord Wilber Varela, alias “Jabon” was arrested in Colombia Thursday.
Colombian national police commissioner Oscar Naranjo announced that Makled, a Venezuelan citizen, was arrested in a suburb of the Colombian border city of Cucuta, in a joint operation with the U.S.’s Drug Enforcement Administration.
The Venezuelan Prosecutor General has requested that Caracas’s First Tribunal approve a request for Makled’s extradition. The Venezuelan is wanted for extradition by a New York district court on drug trafficking charges and is one of the world’s most wanted men on Interpol, due to his alleged involvement in numerous murders in Venezuela.
Makled is believed to have connections with FARC’s principal cartel and would trade weapons for cocaine with the the guerrilla organization. Naranjo said that Makled’s criminal organization, which he called “one of the most powerful mafia organizations in South America,” exported an estimated ten tons of cocaine to the U.S. each month.
Makled is believed to be responsible for Valera’s assassination on January 30, 2008 in Merida, Venezuela. Valera, leader of the notorious Norte del Valle cartel, was one of the world’s most wanted drug lords at the time of his death.
Investigators allege that Makled took advantage of his family’s control of Venezuelan airline Aeropostol to launder money.