26 Oct 2008

Major cocaine seizure in Colombia

5:59 pm on 26 October 2008

Colombian police have seized a 10-tonne consignment of cocaine with a street value of $200m which was reportedly about to be sent to Mexico.

The drugs were found in the Caribbean city of Barranquilla in two trucks where they were camouflaged in boxes filled with children's modelling clay.

The drugs were headed for the city of Veracruz in Mexico.

They allegedly belonged to one of Colombia's top traffickers, Daniel Barrera, nicknamed "The Madman".

The cocaine was seized after a six-month intelligence operation which tracked a drug route up to Barranquilla.

The drugs were moved in two containers travelling on trucks that were to be put on a ship and dispatched to Mexico.

Gen Oscar Naranjo, the chief of Colombia's police force, said that the consignment belonged to "The Madman".

The trafficker is known to move through the eastern plains of Colombia and into Venezuela where he often bases himself out of reach of the Colombian security forces and the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the DEA.

Colombia is the world's largest producer of cocaine, with an estimated 700 tonnes a year. This year, police have seized 105 tonnes of the drug.