Colombian authorities on Monday dismantled a drug trafficking group linked to the country’s most powerful drug trafficking organization, “Los Urabeños,” arresting 17 people, of which three members of the Colombian Navy.
The joint operation by the Colombian Navy and Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) took place simultaneously in five locations along the Caribbean coast, successfully taking down a cocaine trafficking network involving members of the national security forces, according to press releases by the two bodies.
During the raids in the cities of Barranquilla, Cartagena, Turbo, Sapzurro and Trigana – which span the states of Atlantico, Bolivar, Antioquia and Choco respectively – 17 people, including three members of the Navy, were arrested. Two of them were captured in Barranquilla while another was arrested in Turbo, under accusations of assisting gang members in their illicit activities in the Caribbean Gulf of Uraba.
The operative also seized a handgun, various ammunition, communication equipment, documents and pamphlets belonging to the criminal group, and a safe containing what appeared to be bars of gold.
According to authorities, the drug trafficking network shipped cocaine from the Gulf of Uraba to Central and North America in go-fast boats, leading to the seizure of more than 8 tons of cocaine by Colombian and Panamanian authorities over the past two years.
“Los Urabeños,” for which the network operated, is a transnational Colombian drug trafficking organization. The group has gained extreme power since it formed from the remnants of the demobilized paramilitary group AUC in 2006.
The captures are the fruit of 24 months of investigations by authorities, and follow the issuing of an arrest warrant by a Cartagena criminal court.
According to Colombian radio station Blu Radio, 300 members of the Navy and 70 members of the PGO took part in the operation.
- Desarticulada red de narcotráfico e inteligencia delictiva de Los Urabeños en el Caribe (Prosecutor General’s Office)
- Desarticulada red de narcotráfico e inteligencia delictiva de los “Urabeños” en el Caribe (Colombian Navy)
- Capturan a 17 de ‘Los Urabeños’, entre ellos tres de la Armada (Blu Radio)
- Capturan a miembros de la Armada al servicio de ‘Los Urabeños’ (El Espectador)
- Desarticulan red narco de “los Urabeños” (El Universal)