Drug money: Venezuela nabs $5.5 mn

Venezuelan authorities found buried underground more than a half million dollars allegedly belonging to traffickers who ship drugs from Colombia to Central America, police said.

The USD 550,000 in cash was buried in a plastic bag at an illegal camp near the Meta River in the western state of Apure, the anti drug office said in a statement yesterday.

The camp was used by an international drug trafficking gang "for the concealment of drugs, money, fuel and spare aircraft that departed from unauthorised runways nearby," the statement explained.

The gang uses Venezuela as a stopover spot to ferry drugs from Colombia to Central America, it added.

In addition to the money, officers found 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, an assault rifle made in Germany, five ammunition magazines, two cars and satellite phones and other devices.

While Venezuela is designated by the United Nations as a country free of illicit crops, it is considered to be a major transit point for drugs into the largest consumer markets in the United States and Europe.

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