Italian police have seized 4.3 tons of cocaine with a street value of 240 million euros, dealing a heavy blow to the Colombian drug gang Clan del Golfo, investigators have reported.

The police have declared that it was one of the largest seizures of its kind in Europe and that it has come at the end of an international investigation that has led to the issuance of arrest warrants against 38 people in six countries: Italy, Slovenia , Croatia, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and Colombia.

The investigation has lasted more than a year and both the Colombian justice system and the National Security of the United States have participated in it. In addition to the cocaine, the police have also seized €1.85 million in cash.

Colombian authorities said last November that they were focused on dismantling the Clan del Golfo gang, whose network spans 28 countries around the world, after the October capture of the group’s leader, Dairo Antonio Usuga, alias “Otoniel.”

“Another heavy blow to the most important group among Colombian drug gangs,” Italian investigators from the northeastern city of Trieste have said of the seizure.

According to the investigators, their work has uncovered a “dense network” of links between South American cocaine producers and European buyers, who respond to organized crime groups operating throughout Italy, including Calabria, the birthplace of the ‘Ndrangheta.

The police have followed 19 consecutive drug deliveries since May last year, which has allowed them to identify “important intermediaries” in the global drug trafficking system and a “considerable number” of carriers.

More details are expected to be released at a press conference.

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