Colombian police confiscated luxurious properties and assets valued at over $40 million inherited by drug lord “Mechas” from the infamous king-pin Carlos Lehder.
Police seized 161 “property assets” in 10 different municipalities of Colombia, all belonging to imprisoned drug lord Juan Diego Montoya Bernal, alias “Mechas,” and his crew, according to newspaper El Colombiano.
The seized assets included 133 buildings, 19 vehicles and 9 different companies, all valued at more than $40 million dollars throughout Colombia, newspaper El Espectador reported. Among the annexed properties were a prestigious hotel in the tourist beach town of Cartagena, a gym, a motel and various farms. One of the properties allegedly contained a hidden illegal gold mine, which according to authorities has become increasingly common among narcotraffickers.
The police operation was carried out in conjunction with the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which reported that the assets were in large part obtained by drug trafficking to the U.S. through Central America.
“Mechas” was a prominent drug lord captured in 2010 in Uruguay at a poker tournament. He had extensive ties in the narco world, including to what Colombian authorities call the “Drug Trafficking Board of Directors.” Allegedly, he originally inherited the extensive properties from infamous cohort of Pablo Escobar, Carlos Lehder, extradited to the U.S. in 1987 on drug trafficking charges.
Police official General Carlos Ramiro said that the inherited properties provided a support structure of the mafia and their contacts, consequently opening the world of drug trafficking so that Mechas was able to “seal strong alliances with the Sinaloa Cartel and the Beltran Leyva in Mexico, making it an objective priority for OFAC, INTERPOL and U.S. Justice.”
Assets were seized all over the country in Medellin, Cartagena, Bucaramanga, La Estrella, Envigado, Itagui, Bello, Rionegro, Puerto Parra and Velez.