'World's most feared' drug lord captured in raid on jungle hideout that killed one cop

The “most feared” drug lord in the world, Dairo Antonio ‘Otoniel’ Usuga, was captured in a daring armed raid on his heavily guarded jungle compound, the result of an intensive five year operation in Colombia

Colombia’s most wanted drug trafficker arrested

The world’s “most feared” drug lord was arrested in a daring armed raid that resulted in the death of a police officer.

Colombia’s most wanted drug lord has been arrested by the authorities after almost five years of surgery. The police have compared his capture with that of the notorious Coke King Pablo Escobar.

Dairo Antonio Usuga, known as Otoniel, is believed to be responsible for the murder of police officers, soldiers and community leaders and was known for recruiting children for his criminal cocaine empire.

Otoniel led the drug cartel “Clan del Golfo”, which the US State Department describes as “heavily armed and extremely violent”.

The 50-year-old cartel boss was arrested during a raid on his heavily defended jungle area in the Uraba region of Colombia.

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Image:

Agency Anadolu via Getty Images)

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After working as a left-wing guerrilla and paramilitary, he rose to become the leader of the criminal gang Clan del Golfo, or the Golf Clan. The gang consists of around 1,200 armed men – most of them former right-wing extremist paramilitaries – and is present in 10 of Colombia’s 32 provinces.

Authorities said the information provided by the US and UK led more than 500 soldiers and members of the Colombian special forces to Otoniel’s jungle hideout, protected by “eight rings of security”. the Guardian reports.

The State Department said the cartel used speedboats and secret airstrips to transport its drugs and shipped cocaine to the United States. Investigators also say the gang is involved in illegal mining.

In a national televised address over the weekend, Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez confirmed the arrest.

He said: “This is the greatest blow to drug trafficking in our country in this century.

“This coup can only be compared to the fall of Pablo Escobar in the 1990s.

“Otoniel was the most feared drug trafficker in the world, a killer of police officers, soldiers, community leaders and a recruiter for children.”

“It’s a big deal because he’s the biggest drug lord in Colombia. [But] Otoniel will definitely be replaced. “

He ended his address with the words: “To all criminals and drug dealers: Either you surrender or we will come and fetch you.”

For years, Otoniel flew under the radar by holding back in public, unlike some of Colombia’s better-known narcos.

The operation to capture him, Operation Agamemnon, began in 2016 and arrested and killed dozen of his lieutenants and targeted his finances, police say.

Otoniel was captured from hiding in northwest Colombia, near the Panama border
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Image:

Agency Anadolu via Getty Images)

In 2017, Colombian police seized 12 tons of cocaine from the Otoniel network, valued at a massive £ 275 million. It was the largest drug explosion the country had ever seen at the time.

Otoniel’s sister, Nini Johana Usuga, was arrested in March and extradited to the United States. His brother died in a 2012 raid.

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