Colombian drug cartel member sentenced in Switzerland

Keystone / Christof Schuerpf

A senior member of a Colombian drug cartel has been sentenced to ten years and nine months in prison.

This content was published on January 20, 2023 minutes

The dual Colombian and Spanish national was found guilty of drug trafficking by the Basel City criminal court. He will also be expelled from Switzerland for 12 years after serving his sentence.

The defendant was found guilty of drug law violations and money laundering. According to the indictment, the man imported and sold nine tonnes of cocaine between January and August 2020 alone. He was identified through the decryption of data from a discussion forum.

There is sufficient evidence that the defendant is involved in a large-scale cocaine trade, the presiding judge said. She cited the drugs found at his home in Basel, decrypted messages on his mobile phone and transfers of large sums of money to Spain and Colombia.

According to the prosecution, the accused used a fruit-trading company and a pineapple plantation in Colombia to transport large quantities of cocaine into Europe.

During the trial, the defendant rejected all the charges against him. He claimed that he had never dealt in drugs and only admitted keeping 200 grams of cocaine belonging to a friend in his flat and consuming cocaine.

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