Togo has agreed to extradite to the U.S. an alleged druglord from Colombia who was arrested trying to smuggle hundreds of pounds (kilograms) of cocaine through this West African nation last year.
The government said in a statement broadcast on state television late Thursday that the U.S. had requested Solano Cortez Jorge be brought to the U.S. to face trial on charges of trafficking drugs through numerous countries.Jorge was arrested by Togo's Anti-Drugs Narcotics Control Squad in October with seven other Colombians. The group was found with 1,100 pounds (500 kilograms) kilograms of cocaine near the seaport in the capital, Lome.
The statement said Jorge is believed to be the head of an international gang of Colombian traffickers who intended to use an airport in northern Togo as a transit point for smuggling cocaine to Europe.
The statement said nationals from Costa Rica, South Africa, Ghana and Togo had been working with the Colombians.
West Africa has increasingly become a transit point for drugs headed to Europe in recent years. Cocaine, mostly from Colombia, is brought on small planes and dropped on islands off the little-policed Atlantic Ocean coast, then distributed to couriers who carry it into Europe.