Colombia captures Venezuelan drug trafficker sought by U.S., Interpol

14:21, August 21, 2010      

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The Colombian police said Friday it had captured Venezuelan drug-trafficker, Walid Mackled, sought on drug trafficking and murder charges by the United States and the Interpol respectively.

The police said in a statement that they captured Mackled, also known as "The Arabe," in Cucuta, capital of Norte de Santander department in northeast Colombia, in a joint operation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

The United States issued the extradition order against Mackled on drug trafficking charges on Aug. 17, said the statement. In May, U.S. President Barack Obama asked the Congress to impose sanctions on Mackled and three other drug-traffickers.

Mackled is "responsible for the murder of Colombian drug-trafficker Wilber Varela, alias 'Jabon.' He is also accused of killing Venezuelan journalist and lawyer Orel Zambrano," the statement added.

Colombia's police director, Oscar Naranjo, said at a press conference that Mackled, 43, "accumulated his fortune as result of an alliance with the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia)."

His association with the rebel group allowed him to send more than 10 tons of cocaine monthly to the United States and Europe, Naranjo said.



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