Colombia receives a US extradition request to extradite accused drug lords | crime news

Colombia receives a US extradition request to extradite accused drug lords |  crime news

Colombian forces accused Gulf clan leader Dairo Antonio Osuga, better known as O’Tonnell, were arrested last month after 7 years of searching.

Colombia said it had received an official request from the United States for the extradition of accused drug lord Dairo Antonio Osuga, better known as O’Tonnell.

The Colombian armed forces arrested the alleged leader of the Gulf clan, aged 50, late last month, ending a seven-year search.

Colombian President Ivan Duque said, Thursday, that “administrative measures” related to the extradition “have already been implemented by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the request was sent yesterday to the Supreme Court of Justice.”

Duque said he spoke with Chief Justice Luis Antonio Hernandez to demand that the matter be addressed quickly.

Watonnell is accused of exporting hundreds of tons of cocaine annually and has been on the US Drug Enforcement Agency’s wanted list for years.

The US authorities offered $5 million for information leading to his arrest, in addition to the 3 billion pesos (about $800,000) that Colombia offered for information.

Local authorities said the Gulf Clan was responsible for the deaths of more than 200 members of the Colombian security forces.

The Supreme Court of Colombia has already approved the extradition of the second-in-command of the Gulf clan, Antonio Moreno Topercia, also known as Nicholas.

O’Tonnell has seven convictions in Colombia and 128 arrest warrants for drug trafficking, arms smuggling, murder, sexual violence, conspiracy to commit a crime and forced displacement.

The Gulf Clan, or Clan del Golfo, has more than 1,200 fighters and is linked to drug trafficking and illegal mining, as well as the killing of community leaders.

It operates in 12 of Colombia’s 32 provinces, according to data from the Colombian National Police.

“The extradition awaits all those who commit international crimes,” Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano said last month after O’Tonnell’s arrest.

Colombian authorities launched Operation Agamemnon in 2016 as it worked to get close to Otonel, killing and arresting dozens of his associates, stalking his finances and forcing him to move constantly, according to police.

Despite decades of struggle against drug trafficking, Colombia remains the world’s largest cocaine producer and faces constant US pressure to reduce its coca crop, the main ingredient in the drug, and cocaine production.

Drug smuggling helps fund illegal armed groups in Colombia amid a long-running internal conflict that has left more than 260,000 dead.

So far this year, the Colombian armed forces have seized 595 tons of cocaine, Duque said, breaking the previous record of 505 tons in 2020.

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