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Monday, 22 April, 2024

Four days of raids against alleged drug traffickers in Venezuela

Venezuela has been rocked by a series of anti-narcotics raids in dozens of locations in the states of Falcon, Carabobo, and the capital city of Caracas which began on April 15 and have, so far, resulted in 20 arrests (including two pregnant women).


More than 20 raids happened from 15th until April 19 afternoon in the neighboring states Falcon and Carabobo looking for a well-known businessman from Paraguana, Falcon, as well as members of his family, sources linked to the investigation informed El Pitazo.

Joint police commissions – from the National Guard and National Police– have been raiding homes in that coastal, Western Venezuela state since Friday, April 17, arresting 11 persons in that state, and the other nine in Carabobo state.

The joint actions of military and police officers are related to a drug trafficking network that operates from the central-western coast of Venezuela’s Falcon and Carabobo states into the Dutch islands, and from there, to Spain. El Pitazo has access to the name of the businessman but waits for an official confirmation to reveal it.

According to police sources, officers from the Special Action Forces of the National Police, the National Anti-Extortion and Anti-Drug Commands are leading the operation in the two states and the Capital District, where besides checkpoints have been installed to inspect vehicles.

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Operations in Carabobo

Next to Falcon, in Carabobo state, the raids took place in the north of Valencia, the capital city. In this area, the Amalfi apartments complex, at least five apartments, and a penthouse in the Benescola residences were raiding. No arrests have been reported so far.

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At least two car dealerships were also raided in two mayor avenues in Valencia. Sources linked to the investigation indicated that a partner of one of the vehicle sales establishments gone by himself to the authorities but there is no official information yet.

In Naguanagua zone, also in Carabobo, a funeral home was seizing, while in Puerto Cabello, residents reported raids lasting at least six hours in the Rancho Grande sector, and an import-export company near to the Puerto Cabello Port, where the local office of tax agency Seniat are located.

A foundation involved

In Punto Fijo, a coast city in Falcon state, police carried out raids in private residences and the offices of one fishing company. The headquarters of a foundation, named as the mother of the businessman allegedly involved in the case, was also occupied. The organization operates and serves the population of Carirubana.

Police seized private vehicles, vans, heavy machinery and buses bearing the foundation’s name, as well as other vehicles found in the addresses raided.

There were also reports of raids in the western zone from Falcon state where a group of people was detained, including workers identified as key to the investigation. Sources linked to the investigation confirmed to El Pitazo that more than 20 people were detained.

Faes Operation in Venezuela
Officials from Anti-Drugs command carry out raids in Valencia and Punto Fijo.

In the case of Falcon, two pregnant women were apprehended during the operations and called in for questioning in connection with the businessman. Some areas of the state remain taken by the military, as is the case in Carirubana.

The benefactor

Since 2018, the population of Carirubana began to have a boom with the arrival of a family organization, who at one point allegedly tried to buy all of the houses and homes in this beachfront town. The employees of the foundation cleaned streets and beaches and hired more than 300 people, even at one point building local garrisons for the National Guard and the Falcon Police.

Outpatient clinics, a gymnasium, and local schools were also repaired. Thanks to the foundation, every house in the community received a bag of groceries every month.

The detained men include Raul Roberto del Gallego Salas, Orlando Jose Silva Moreno, and Jesus Antonio Blanco Goitia, were apprehended in Caracas April 15th and charged with unlawful carry of firearms, conspiracy to commit a crime, money laundering and usurpation of functions, typically meaning that the men said they were police and/or were found to be carrying police badges.

Del Gallego is an entrepreneur linked to the business of buying and selling scrap metal, according to a source consulted by El Pitazo.

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