The Washington Post | 4/23/2010 12:00:00 AM
Venezuela raids cocaine labs on Colombia border
April 23--Venezuelan authorities raided eight drug laboratories near the Colombian border on Thursday, seizing 4.5 tonnes of cocaine in one of the largest hauls in recent times, the interior minister said.
"This is one of the most important and biggest operations against illegal trafficking gangs in our nation," Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami told state television.
Venezuela is a major transit route to Europe and the United States for Colombian-produced cocaine.
Accused by critics of leniency in the drug fight and collusion with Colombian rebels who depend on smuggling for financing, the government of President Hugo Chavez counters it has stepped up efforts against producers and traffickers.
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