BOGOTA – Colombia on Wednesday extradited to the United Kingdom a Briton convicted in his own country on charges of drug and weapons trafficking, authorities said Wednesday.
“We want to inform you of the apprehension of John Riley, a British citizen who was arrested in Liverpool with 30 kilos (66 pounds) of heroin and a shipment of arms. For those acts, he was sentenced to 38 years in prison,” police Gen. Jose Angel Mendoza Guzman told reporters.
Riley served several years of his sentence in a British prison before being granted house arrest, the general said.
Once out of custody, Riley turned to his drug contacts in South America, who helped him flee the UK to Colombia, where “he enjoys the protection of these narcos” while continuing to arrange exports of illegal drugs to Europe, Mendoza said.
Large consignments were concealed in containers loaded aboard Europe-bound cargo ships. Smaller quantities were transported by couriers on commercial flights from Cali and Bogota, the police commander said.
In conjunction with the drug-smuggling, Riley devised a scheme that involved the use of wire transfers to repatriate the illicit proceeds to Colombia, Mendoza said.