Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Drug dealers handed over to US

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CARACAS – Venezuela handed over three major drug trafficking suspects to United States authorities yesterday including an alleged boss of Colombia’s Norte del Valle cartel. Carlos Alberto “Beto” Renteria is accused of being a leader of the Norte del Valle cartel that allegedly shipped hundreds of tons of cocaine to the United States. American authorities had offered a US$5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Renteria, 65, who was captured on July 4 in Caracas. He was escorted to a United States Justice Department plane, handcuffed and with a lowered head, after two other Colombians recently arrested in Venezuela: Luis Frank Tello and Carlos Alberto Ojeda Herrera. Both Tello and Ojeda shouted angrily as they were led to the plane at Caracas’ international airport in Maiquetia, saying they are Venezuelans. “This is a kidnapping!” Ojeda shouted. “I’m Venezuelan!” Tello shouted that he supported President Hugo Chavez, saying: “I’m a Chavista!” Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami did not comment on their remarks. He said their deportation to the United States demonstrated Venezuela’s commitment to counter-drug efforts. The United States embassy described all three suspects as “major narco-traffickers” and praised Venezuelan police for the arrests.“These are very dangerous, violent individuals with outstanding warrants in the United States,” the embassy said in a statement. “The United States reaffirms its interest in deepening its cooperation with the Venezuelan government in the fight against narco-trafficking.” Venezuela has become a major hub for traffickers smuggling Colombian cocaine to the United States and Europe. (AP)

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