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Colombia Sends Reputed Drug Lord to Venezuela

FILE - In this Aug. 20, 2010, file photo, police officers escort suspected drug trafficker Walid Makled Garcia, second from right, during a press conference at police headquarters in Bogota, Colombia

Colombia has extradited to Venezuela a man accused of being an top international drug trafficker.

The United States had requested the suspect, Walid Makled, be sent to America to face charges he smuggled tons of cocaine.

However, Bogota opted to extradite Makled to Venezuela, where is wanted on murder and drug smuggling charges.

Makled has claimed that some of his business associates are close to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. He claims to have paid millions of dollars in bribes to top Venezuelan government officials.

Makled, who is of Syrian descent, left Bogoto in handcuffs on Monday aboard a Venezuela-bound jet.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.