Raul del Gallego Salas, an alleged drug-trafficker linked to the government.

The 42-year-old man, arrested in Caracas on April 15, has been portraited with cops and high-ranking military officers. Sources tell El Pitazo he is the nephew of the attorney general of Zulia state, Rebeca Milagros Del Gallego Turgerman.

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Left to right: Folk singer Cesar Rivero, arrested man Raul del Gallego Salas, Jose Dominguez, and Orlando Silva. Photo by social media.

Raul Roberto del Gallego Salas become a popular name in Venezuela in the last weeks. He was arrested April 15, in downtown Caracas, for his alleged links to a drug trafficking network that operates between central and western Venezuela. This led to several raids, more arrests, and the firing of senior police officers in the states of Carabobo and Falcon.

Gallego has been linked to a five-ton drug shipment seized last February in Aruba, when Coast Guard officers from the island intercepted a ship from Venezuela flying a Cameroon flag, the Aressa, with Greece as its intended destination.

You must read Four days of raids against alleged drug traffickers in Venezuela

The ship reported having departed from the Guaranao dock in Punto Fijo, a city in Falcon state, on February 23. Falcon is the birthplace from Emilio Martinez, known as Chiche Smith, who would be the leader of the criminal organization and partner of Raúl Roberto del Gallego.

Multiple companies in his name

The businessman Raúl del Gallego appears as a representative of at least 14 companies in the state of Florida. And the same goes for his father, Roberto Martin del Gallego Turgerman, tied to different companies related to the commercialization of plastic and metal in the United States.

The younger del Gallego is said to be the nephew of the attorney general of the state of Zulia, Rebeca Milagros Del Gallego Turgerman. The team of El Pitazo contacted Rebeca Del Gallego twice, but the phone number blocked both times.

The Venezuelan ID cards of the jailed Del Gallego and his father, Del Gallego Trugermen, share the first six numbers out of seven, something that has called the attention.

A source consulted by El Pitazo indicated Del Gallego Salas, 42 years old, known as Ñoño among his friends, also owns an agricultural business and trades in luxury vehicles. For this reason, officials from the Regional Anti-Drug Investigation Unit and the National Anti-Extortion and Kidnapping Commission raided more than three of his dealerships in the north of the city of Valencia.

They also raided the Gerarsha import-export firm, located in the port city of Puerto Cabello, and a 600-hectare farm in Yaracal, Falcon state.

Disappearance in Yaracal

In January 2020, the judge of the First Court of Control Tucacas, Emilia Gonzalez, ordered the raid of the Santa Maria farm, owned by Del Gallego in Yaracal, to look for two farmhands, of 28 and 29 years, who never returned to their homes after entering the farm in late December.

Another line of business Del Gallego delved into was the sale of iron, aluminum, and scrap metal, materials of strategic importance according to the Nicolas Maduro regime, but which the arrested man obtained and sold reportedly through connections with the Carabobo state government.

In 2008 an arrest warrant against Del Gallego called off at the last minute, allegedly for his involvement in copper sales, another source told El Pitazo.

Del Gallego Salas is a devotee of Divino Niño, a fact that may have led him to register two of his companies in the United States under the names Divino Nino Investments LLC (still active) and Divino Nino Group (inactive). In both companies, he has as a partner the other family member named Ada Luz Salas, who has at least, 17 companies registered in Florida.

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