News briefing – Week of 17 April

  • Colombian authorities arrested William Rafael Vargas Maestre in Armenia (Colombia), one of Spain’s most wanted suspects in drug trafficking, who had been on the run since February 2016. With the help of Spanish law enforcement, the Colombian drug trafficking ring led by Vargas was dismantled and led to the arrest of 24 suspects.
  • Mauritius’ Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth announced the implementation of a Financial Crime Commission to fight against drug trafficking and corruption. In a speech at the National Assembly, he announced the position of the government of Mauritius, warning of a ‘zero tolerance policy’ regarding illicit trade and organised crime.
  • Sibanye Gold, the largest individual producer of gold from South Africa and one of the largest in the world, has declared war on illegal gold miners. Illegal gold mining is an endemic phenomenon in South Africa and has undermined mining companies for decades through smalltime pilfering as well as networks run by organised crime.
  • A U.S. Coast Guard crew seized 12 tonnes of cocaine worth over US $390m in the Pacific Ocean. Four vessels were intercepted and 41 alleged smugglers were detained.