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| 6/18/2010 12:00:00 AM

World's biggest drugs 'super cartel' smashed by US authorities in Colombia

June 18--The world’s biggest drugs and money laundering "super cartel" in Colombia has been smashed by the American government, officials said.

Anti-drug agents arrested and charged dozens of members of the powerful Colombian cartel, including two major kingpins, after a series of raids across South America.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, estimated the cartel made an estimated $5 billion (£3.37bn) profit from their trade over the past few years.
 
Agents involved in Operation Pacific Rim said on Friday that the gang trafficked cocaine to every continent except Antarctica, with drugs bound for Europe and Britain smuggled through Spain.

They believe the gang were responsible for almost half of the cocaine on American streets, or more than 912 tonnes with an estimated street value of about $24 billion (£16.2 billion).

The drug cartels buy coca from Colombia's peasant farmers for about £250 per pound. After being refined into cocaine, the same quantity can then be sold for about £15,000 in Europe.

They were said to have made so much money they could not launder it all, CBS News reported.

Among those arrested were kingpins, "Don Claudio” in eastern Columbia and "Don Lucho", who was captured in Argentina. Both are now awaiting extradition back to the US.
 
Read more here.
 
Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.
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