Thirty-eight arrests between Europe and Colombia and the seizure of 4,300 kilos of cocaine and almost two million euros in cash. This is the balance sheet of the maxi operation with which the Trieste Economic and Financial Police Unit, coordinated by the Anti-Mafia District Directorate of the Julian capital, has dealt a new blow to the feared and powerful criminal organization of the “Clan del Golfo”, the most important among Colombian narcos already proven by the arrest and extradition to the United States of his boss, “Otoniel”, aka Dario Antonio Usuga David. About sixty financiers engaged in the execution of pre-trial detention orders against people in Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Holland and Colombia, all accused of international drug trafficking.
The investigations, which lasted over a year and began with the cooperation of the Colombian judiciary and police, together with the US Homeland Security Investigations Agency, allowed to rebuild the dense network of relationships between South American cocaine producers and buyers on the national territory and European, belonging to well-known organized crime contexts operating in Veneto, Lombardy, Lazio and Calabria. In the middle of the distribution chain, important brokers and wholesalers have been identified as well as various transport workers, all subject to the restrictive measures implemented.
Not only technical and classic investigations: evidence was also collected through the use of “undercover” agents, who infiltrated the organization by simulating to manage the logistical part of the traffic. Their collection was made possible by as many as 19 consecutive “controlled deliveries”, between May 2021 and May 2022, thanks to which important mediators in the world drug trafficking system and a large number of carriers operating both nationally and abroad were identified.
There are 4.3 net tons of cocaine seized – one of the largest kidnappings ever in Europe – which is estimated to have been paid for around 96 million euros by the criminal buyer groups. On the Italian market, retail sales would have more than doubled the final value, reaching a price of at least 240 million euros.
During the operation, in addition to several vehicles, including a truck and an SUV worth over 100 thousand euros, 1,850,000 euros in cash were also seized: financial and patrimonial resources stolen from the availability of criminal organizations thanks to the work of yellow flames specialists.
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