Pubdate: Thu, 23 Nov 2000
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2000 Calgary Herald
Contact:  P.O. Box 2400, Stn. M, Calgary, Alberta T2P 0W8
Fax: (403) 235-7379


In a co-ordinated anti-drugs operation throughout the Caribbean, 
authorities have arrested almost 3,000 alleged traffickers and seized 20 
tonnes of cocaine, 29 tonnes of marijuana and $45 million Cdn in assets.

"Operation Liberator",  co-ordinated by the United States Drug Enforcement 
Agency (DEA), involved raids in 30 territories.

It was unprecedented in the scope of co-operation between 30 different 
nations in a single operation.

"This operation succeeded because of the relaxation of sovereignty issues 
that many times in the past had acted as a barrier to law enforcement 
operations", said Michael Vigil, the senior DEA official in Puerto Rico.

The operation, which began three weeks ago, resulted in the arrests of 
2,786 individuals.

In the 40,000 searches conducted across the Caribbean, 94 drug labs and 197 
guns were destroyed in addition to the drugs and $2 million US in cash seized.

The only Caribbean islands that did not participate were Cuba, the Bahamas 
and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
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