Monday 27 September 2021

Colombia extradites ‘Pablo Escobar of Ecuador’ to US

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A suspected drug chief known as the “Pablo Escobar of Ecuador” was extradited to the US on Saturday, Colombia’s chief prosecutor’s office has announced.

Police officers escorting a man identified as Washington Edison Prado after his arrest in Colombia in April. Photograph: AP

Washington Edison Prado tried unsuccessfully to prevent extradition by claiming membership of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) a status that would have made him eligible for a type of amnesty under a peace deal.

The prosecutor’s office said in a statement that Prado was escorted by a detail of 50 commandos and agents of various police agencies as he was turned over to US authorities.

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US officials accuse Prado, also known by the alias Gerald, of shipping more than 200 tonnes of cocaine to the US.

Police say he ran the most sophisticated smuggling route on the Pacific coast of South America, and they compared it to Escobar’s Medellín cartel of three decades ago because it sought to dominate the entire cocaine supply chain from production to its distribution in the US.

Police say his group sent as many as 10 go-fast boats a week, each carrying around a tonne of cocaine.

He allegedly began as a boatman running drugs along Ecuador’s coast and rose to become head of a small army of smugglers spread across five countries. Prado was arrested in Colombia in April on an indictment by a Florida federal court.

Article originally appeared on Today Colombia and is republished here with permission.

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Article originally appeared on Today Colombia and is republished here with permission.

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