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Drug raids yield $50 million in cash

Story Highlights

• Colombian police find millions in U.S. currency, euros in three raids
• Large quantity of gold found behind wall
• U.S. drug agents present during raids
• Money, gold thought to belong to top cocaine-trafficking cartel
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Colombian national police recovered close to $50 million in U.S. currency as well as other money during three raids in the past week on houses used to stash drug proceeds, a U.S. official told CNN.

It is thought to be the most money ever seized by a law enforcement agency in the world, said the official, who requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the investigation.

The raids were conducted following a tip from a source working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the official told CNN. The DEA then provided information to the Colombian National Police.

The first of the raids -- all of which were conducted in the Cali area -- took place Friday, and $13 million and more than €2 million was seized. The cash was in a false cabinet and wall that led to a hidden room. Another cash seizure took place Tuesday, when police recovered $16 million to $18 million.

Separately, another house was searched on Wednesday and a large quantity of gold was found. Officials said a wall had to be destroyed to get to the gold.

DEA agents accompanied Colombian police on the raids, the DEA official said.

The money and gold likely belonged to a member of the Norte Valle Cartel, which dominates the cocaine trade in Colombia, the official told CNN.


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