Honduras busts alleged drug gang, seizes $100 million in assets

TEGUCIGALPA Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:57am GMT

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TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduran anti-drug agents on Saturday broke up an alleged gang of synthetic drug producers and seized $100 million (£62.4 million) in assets, a government spokesman said.

Anti-drug trafficking agents carried out raids on 24 sites in the northern part of the country, seizing 700 heads of cattle and 150 vehicles in one of the biggest organized crime seizures in the last decade, spokesman Carlos Vallecillo said.

Vallecillo said the group laundered money through companies and property, but did not specify which drug cartel the group belonged to.

The agents detained a local police official, a Honduran civilian, and two Colombian pilots, he added.

The Mexican government's campaign to tame its drug cartels has driven Mexican drug traffickers to set up shop in Honduras. Colombian Cartels also operate in the country.

Criminal violence in the Central American nation has escalated thanks in part to the Mexican cartels' presence. According to the United Nations, Honduras has the highest per capita homicide rate in the world, with 86 homicides for every 100,000 inhabitants.

(Reporting By Gustavo Palencia; writing by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Paul Simao)

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