Colombia’s sniffer dog and other targeted prized animals.
A top sniffer dog used by Colombian police has become a troublemaker for the nation’s top drugs cartel, which has put a $70,000 price on the pooch’s head after it busted tons of the gang’s cocaine.
The Urabenos (also known as the Gulf Clan), said to be Colombia’s mightiest drug gang, has offered 200m peso ($70,000) to anyone who takes out the police sniffer dog named Sombra – which is Spanish for ‘Shadow.’ According to local media, Dario Antonio Usuga, the boss of the clan, was the one who put the hit on the six-year-old female German shepherd.
The threats came after Sombra appeared on a report by Colombia’s El Tiempo news outlet when she busted a record nine tons of the Urabenos’ cocaine in recent years, estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Understandably, this was a big loss for the cartel.
Adding insult to injury, the national police have taunted Usaga – otherwise known under nom de guerre ‘Otoniel’ – on Twitter, detailing how their top pooch has been deployed along the Atlantic coast for the past three years.
General Jorge Nieto, Colombian police chief, added in a separate tweet that Sombra had also helped to detain 245 gangsters from the country’s drug rings.
To ensure Sombra’s safety, the police have moved her to Bogota International Airport, which is considered relatively safer than the Urabenos heartland where the dog was previously deployed.
Aside from Sombra’s handler, Colombian anti-narcotics police have also provided her with armed guards while she works at the airport – an area that is supposedly out of the cartel’s reach.
Colombia is considered the world’s largest producer of cocaine. Much of the drugs is being shipped by speedboats – and sometimes by submergible makeshift submarines – to Central America and then to the US.
Last year marked a major success for the country’s police, which seized a staggering 12 tons of cocaine linked to Colombia’s Gulf Clan, estimated to be worth around $360 million.
Some 400 anti-narcotics officers busted the drugs in four simultaneous operations launched on farms across the country. The cocaine was discovered buried underground, covered in banana leaves.