HomeNewsBrief'Zetas' Member Arrested in Argentina
BRIEF

'Zetas' Member Arrested in Argentina

ARGENTINA / 30 SEP 2011 BY RONAN GRAHAM EN

Reports from Argentina claim that a member of Mexican drug gang the Zetas has been arrested the country, after a police operation against a drug trafficking gang.

Three members of a trafficking ring were arrested, according to authorities, in raids in the city of La Plata, in the province of Buenos Aires. During the operation, police said they seized some 50 kilos of cocaine concealed in therapeutic gel pads, with an estimated value of around 20 million euros on the European market.

As a result of the operation, given the codename “Operation Lisbon,” police arrested a Colombian national, an Argentine and a Mexican citizen, identified by police as 50 year-old Luis Rafael Ulibarri Del Rio. Media reports have suggested is a member of the Zetas, with some claiming he is a regional leader of the drug cartel.

It is alleged that the three were operating a business in the centre of La Plata named Therapeutic Equipment S.A. According to the authorities, this was a front business, which the suspects used to traffic substantial amounts of cocaine to Europe. Police allege that therapeutic gel pads filled with cocaine were being sent to the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, from the premises.

As InSight Crime has reported, there is evidence to suggest that foreign traffickers may be using Argentina as a base of operations, while the the Zetas, perhaps Mexico’s most violent drug cartel, are expanding operations beyond Mexico's borders. Nevertheless, the reports have not so far provided substantial evidence of a link between the group and the captured Mexican citizen.

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