Bolivia's top drug cop arrested for smuggling dope to US

Panamanian motor vessel Gatun during the large...Image via Wikipedia

A former commander of Bolivia's anti-narcotics police force has been arrested in Panama on charges of drugs trafficking, Bolivian authorities say.

Gen Rene Sanabria was immediately transferred to the US to face trial.

Bolivia has arrested three other senior police officers suspected of helping him smuggle cocaine to the US.

Gen Sanabria was head of Bolivia's anti-drug agency until 2009, and was still working as an intelligence adviser to the government.

Bolivian Interior Minister Sacha Llorenti said Gen Sanabria was suspected of travelling to Panama to organise further shipments of cocaine to the US, after allegedly despatching 144kg (317lbs) of the drug last November.

He said Bolivia expected to receive details of the charges against him from the US on Monday, and did not rule out asking for his extradition.

Gen Sanabria was arrested on arrival in Panama on Thursday, but this was not made public by the Panamanian or US authorities.

It sounds like all the governments were aware of his activities and the trip to Panama made the arrest much easier. Bolivia is usually not helpful on dealing with illegal drugs exported from that country. They are the third largest supplier of dope to the US right now, but the Bolivia refuses to work with the DEA as a general rule.
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