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Venezuela deports 3 Colombian drug traffickers


08:13, May 28, 2013

CARACAS, May 27 (Xinhua) -- The Venezuelan government on Monday deported three alleged drug traffickers wanted by Interpol ( International Criminal Police Organization) to Colombia, local media reported.

The surrender of the suspects, who are alleged members of "Los Urabenos" criminal band for drug trafficking and homicide, to the Colombian authorities took place Monday by Venezuelan Minister of Interior and Justice Miguel Rodriguez at Simon Bolivar international airport, 25 kilometers north of Caracas.

"We are here to begin a deportation act of three Colombian citizens who were captured in our territory and who are wanted by Colombia for drug trafficking and homicide," said Rodriguez at the airport.

The deported Colombians are Gildardo de Jesus Escalante Villegas, Juan Carlos Pena Silva and Rigoberto Arias Castrillon, who were nicknamed "Escalante", "Mi Yerno" and "Castrillon Rigoberto" respectively.

"Los Urabenos" is allegedly one of the most dangerous criminal bands in Colombia. It is involved in drug trafficking, kidnapping and blackmailing in the 22 Colombian provinces.

According to Colombian and U.S. official reports, the criminal band exports cocaine to Central America and supplies it to several Mexican drug cartels.

Venezuela and Colombia have an important anti-drug cooperation as the Venezuelan territory is frequently used by Colombian drug traffickers for escape.

The exchange of information by the intelligence units of the two countries allowed the capture in 2012 of important drug- trafficking chiefs such as Diego Perez Henao (nicknamed "Diego Rastrojo"), Daniel Barrera ("El Loco") and Jorge Cifuentes ("JJ").

Rodriguez also disclosed that since 2006 Venezuelan authorities have arrested 100 people for drug trafficking and have seized 20, 098 kilograms of several types of drugs.

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