The National Police’s intelligence agency captured four members of Colombia’s biggest criminal organization on Wednesday afternoon, including 20-year-old Victor Hugo Usuga, son of Juan de Dios Usuga, alias “Giovanni,” El Colombiano newspaper reported.
The operative, which took place in a villa not far from the Antioquia state capital of Medellin, has already seen the seizure of $2.45 million. The search is not yet over, however, as six policemen are being investigated for the possible theft of the uncovered stash.
According to the preliminary information, the police’s criminal investigation unit found a stash of money belonging to Dairo Antonio Usuga, alias “Otoniel,” the current leader of the Urabeños organization and reportedly the most wanted drug trafficker in Colombia.
The rest of the money discovered had been hidden inside a billiard table, in milk cans buried in the lawn and in other locations around the house.
However, the four detainees revealed that there was some money missing. A search by the detectives uncovered $147,000 in the home of a local police officer, who in turn affirmed that other five of his comrades had been involved in the robbery of the stashed money.
The villa is located in the community of Popalito, in the municipality of Barbusa, Antioquia. There were reportedly two children on site when the police operation began.
Before his death at the hands of police in 2012, Hugo Usuga’s father, Giovanni — along with his brother Otoniel — had commanded what is now the most extensive criminal organization in Colombia, the Urabeños.
The Urabeños are heavily involved in both national and international drug trafficking, and have for years been one of the main protagonists of a violent turf war that has claimed countless lives.
Last December 12, authorities seized properties and more than $3.8 million belonging to the fugitive Otoniel — for whom the U.S. State Government has offered a $5 million reward.
The sister of current and former leaders Otoniel and Giovanni — Nini Johana Usuga, alias, “la Negra” — was arrested in the operation along with three other people.
She escaped from captivity little more than two weeks later using false documents to anticipate her release. So far, nobody except la Negra has been re-captured.
- Capturan al hijo del exjefe de “los Urabeños” en Antioquia (El Colombiano)
- Profile: Urabeños (InSight Crime)
- Profile: Giovanni (InSight Crime)