Italy seizes 4 tons of cocaine linked to Colombian Gulf Clan

Jun 7, 2022, 5:45 AM | Updated: 6:23 am

MILAN (AP) — Italian agents on Tuesday confiscated 4.3 tons of cocaine with a street value of nearly a quarter-billion euros (dollars) in the northeastern port city of Trieste, dealing a blow to Colombia’s feared Gulf Clan in one of the largest drug busts ever in Europe.

Arrest warrants were being executed for 38 people on suspicion of international drug trafficking in Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and Colombia. The seizure was carried out by Italian financial police and coordinated by anti-mafia investigators, following a yearlong investigation that also involved U.S. Homeland Security.

The undercover operation “took another strong tackle to one of the most important groups of Colombian narcos,” anti-mafia investigators said in a statement in English.

Last month, the Gulf Clan’s alleged boss was extradited from Colombia to the United States. Dairo Antonio Úsuga David, better known by the alias Otoniel, faces U.S. indictments in three federal courts.

Colombian President Iván Duque at the time of the extradition compared him to Pablo Escobar, the late former head of the Medellin drug cartel, calling him “the most dangerous drug trafficker in the world.” The former rural warlord had stayed on the run for more than a decade by corrupting state officials and aligning himself with combatants on the left and right.

Authorities in Italy estimate that criminal groups paid 96 million euros ($102 million) for the cocaine, which would have been worth 240 million euros on the Italian market. Undercover agents infiltrated the drug smuggling chain, which operated in the northern regions of Veneto and Lombardy, the Lazio region including Rome and the southern region of Calabria on the tip of Italy’s boot.

During the investigation, undercover agents were involved in 19 “controlled deliveries,” which led to the identification of key traffickers both at the intermediary and international levels.

Along with the drug, agents also seized 1.8 million euros in cash as well as vehicles allegedly used for trafficking, including a big-rig truck.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Haitian migrant Gerson Solay, 28, carries his daughter, Bianca, as he and his family cross into Can...
Associated Press

US, Canada to end loophole that allows asylum-seekers to move between countries

President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday announced a plan to close a loophole to an immigration agreement.
1 day ago
Expert skateboarder Di'Orr Greenwood, an artist born and raised in the Navajo Nation in Arizona and...
Associated Press

Indigenous skateboard art featured on new stamps unveiled at Phoenix skate park

The Postal Service unveiled the “Art of the Skateboard" stamps at a Phoenix skate park, featuring designs from Indigenous artists.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/City of San Luis, Arizona)...
Associated Press

San Luis authorities receive complaints about 911 calls going across border

Authorities in San Luis say they are receiving more complaints about 911 calls mistakenly going across the border.
7 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Daylight saving time begins in most of US this weekend

No time change is observed in Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas.
15 days ago
Mexican army soldiers prepare a search mission for four U.S. citizens kidnapped by gunmen in Matamo...
Associated Press

How the 4 abducted Americans in Mexico were located

The anonymous tip that led Mexican authorities to a remote shack where four abducted Americans were held described armed men and blindfolds.
15 days ago
Tom Brundy points to a newly built irrigation canal on one of the fields at his farm Tuesday, Feb. ...
Associated Press

Southwest farmers reluctant to idle farmland to save water

There is a growing sense that fallowing will have to be part of the solution to the increasingly desperate drought in the West.
22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona Photo)...
Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona

5 common causes for chronic neck pain

Neck pain can debilitate one’s daily routine, yet 80% of people experience it in their lives and 20%-50% deal with it annually.
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
Italy seizes 4 tons of cocaine linked to Colombian Gulf Clan