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law fightback Peru’s 'Iron Prosecutor' targets Kinahan Cartel’s South American cocaine suppliers

Known as ‘The Iron Prosecutor’ Marita Barreto Rivera is spearheading the fight against Peru’s drug cartels and the vast network built up to hide their cash

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Marita Barreto Rivera

Marita Barreto Rivera

Marita Barreto Rivera

An anti-money laundering expert is targeting the Kinahan Cartel’s prime cocaine source in South America.

Known as ‘The Iron Prosecutor’ Marita Barreto Rivera is spearheading the fight against Peru’s drug cartels and the vast network built up to hide their cash.

The country has become a key stepping-stone in exporting cocaine from Bolivia and Colombia to Europe and the United States.

Rivera is credited with disrupting the network used by Kinahan wedding guest Edin ‘Tito’ Gacanin, known as ‘The Balkans Escobar’.

Tito’s cartel has linked up with the Kinahan and the Dutch Morrocan Taghi gangs to fund massive cocaine shipments to Europe worth billions of euro.

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Marita Barreto Rivera

Marita Barreto Rivera

Marita Barreto Rivera

Ove the last five years Rivera and her team have expanded their investigation from 30 individuals to more than 400 and have seized several properties and frozen bank accounts.

Her investigation into the Orellana Clan exposed links between the cocaine traffickers and police, judges and politicians.

She has successfully forced senior judges to stand down while a number of top Peruvian businessmen and lawyers are facing criminal trials.

Rivera who works with a team of 11 other prosecutors has stayed on course despite attempts to have her removed from the investigation

Her work and interrogations of suspects have revealed how Gacinin controls at least a third of the exports of cocaine to Europe from his Dubai base.

A key suspect in Peru is international rally driver Fernando De Olazabal where it was reported Rivera sought a court order to have him held in custody for three years, according to local media reports.

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He is described being the direct link to Tito and the flow of cocaine to Europe.

The operation against him began in 2018 when a three-ton shipment of cocaine in a container of bananas from the Port of Paita and destined for Europe was seized.

Last December Rivera personally led some of the property searches targeting De Olazabal by members of the Orion de la Diandro, Peru’s elite police unit.

While Tito remains out of Rivera’s reach in Dubai she is continuing the investigation in Peru where high end vehicles and swathes of land have also been seized.

Her efforts will have frustrated the operation run by Edin Gacanin who is now believed to be a target of the DEA in the United Sates.

Born in Sarajevo ‘Tito’ heads up a Bosnian cartel in which his uncle Mirza Gacanin also played a key role.

Mirza, a dual Dutch Bosnian citizen, was arrested last year in the Netherlands of charges of money laundering.

A huge amount of intelligence about the criminal network has also been gleaned from the hacking by law enforcement agencies of encrypted phone networks used by the gangsters.

Details of the connections between Gacanin, Kinahan, Dutch mob-boss Ridouan Taghi and Camorra gangster Raffaele Imperiale were contained in a DEA dossier sent to Dutch authorities last year.

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Ridouan Taghi is currently on trial in the Netherlands.

Ridouan Taghi is currently on trial in the Netherlands.

Ridouan Taghi is currently on trial in the Netherlands.

It revealed how the main players were all guests at Kinahan’s 2017 wedding in the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.

Taghi is currently on trial in the Netherlands after being extradited from Dubai.

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