Latin America & Caribbean

Colombia drugs: Police hold 'gang's financial brains'

Map of Colombia

Police in Colombia say they have captured a man they believe to be the financial brains behind one of the country's main drug-trafficking rings.

Police arrested Fredy Ricardo Santos Ramirez in central Colombia.

He is accused of extorting money from the region's businessmen to pay off the hundreds of men working for a drug gang known as Erpac.

Erpac is believed to control much of the drug-trafficking in eastern Colombia.

'New enemy'

Mr Santos Ramirez was arrested in a residential neighbourhood of the central city of Villavicencio, from where police say he ran the logistics and finances of the Popular Revolutionary Anti-terrorist Army of Colombia, or Erpac.

Colombian security forces say Erpac is one of the country's three largest criminal gangs, which grow, transport and export much of Colombia's coca crop.

The gang's leader, alias "the knife", died in a clash with security forces two months ago.

Last month, President Juan Manuel Santos said criminal gangs had become Colombia's "new enemy" and promised to dedicate all necessary resources to the fight against them.

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