Officials Seize Drug Baron's $61.8 Million

From United Press International

Authorities have frozen bank accounts in five countries holding $61.8 million belonging to a key figure in the Medellin cocaine cartel in Colombia, Atty. Gen. Dick Thornburgh said today.

The money represents long-term, high-yield investments belonging to Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez-Gacha, a "member of the triumvirate that heads the Medellin cocaine cartel," the Justice Department said.

The seizure followed a raid on a home in Colombia in October that produced a treasure trove of financial records, said Jack Lawn, chief of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Rodriguez-Gacha remains at large, as does his financial expert, Mauricio Vives, in whose name the money was held in bank accounts in five countries--England, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and the United States.

Authorities were unable to freeze another $20 million that was suddenly transferred to Panama.

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