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Venezuela arrests two ex-military officers over drug trafficking

22 July 2015 9:49


Venezuelan authorities have detained two former military officers, including one wanted by the United States, on drug trafficking charges.

Venezuela’s Interior Ministry, in a statement released on Tuesday, said an anti-narcotics task force had arrested former National Guard Captain Vassyly Villarroel Ramirez the previous day.

Ramirez, 43, headed a trafficking group called “The 40s Cartel,” and is wanted for drug crimes and money laundering in the United States. He is a financier of the Sinaloa cartel, the largest criminal organization in Mexico, the statement added.

“He is responsible for sending large quantities of cocaine from Mexico to the United States,” it said.

A former lieutenant, identified as Robert Alexander Pinto Gil, was also arrested on Monday during the same operation. The Venezuelan Interior Ministry accuses the 32-year-old of leading local drug trafficking gangs in the country’s northeastern states of Anzoategui and Sucre. Gil had previously been arrested in 2010, but he escaped from prison in 2013.

National Guard commander Nestor Reverol said on Tuesday that the pair will stand trial soon.

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