The Government of the United States of America v Alexander Salazar Duarte
The requested person was wanted by federal prosecutors in the United States to face prosecution on an indictment containing 144 counts alleging conspiracy to launder the proceeds of global drug trafficking, conspiracy to supply cocaine and substantive counts of money laundering. It was specifically alleged that he was a member of a London based money laundering and drug trafficking organisation that operated throughout Central America, Europe, North America, South America and the United Kingdom since 2005. A co operating source had infiltrated the organisation and gained the trust of the organisations members.
The co-operating source introduced members of the organisation to US and foreign undercover police officers who posed as traffickers and money launderers who were able to pick up drug proceeds and deposit them in the US banking system. It was alleged Mr Salazar had been intercepted on recorded telephone conversations, discussing the laundering of drug proceeds through the US banking system, a money laundering system called the Black Market Peso, Exchange, as well as bulk cash deliveries in Columbia and Panama.
The argument against extradition was based on double jeopardy under s80 Extradition Act 2003. He had been prosecuted in 2006 as part of Operation Alpington, the culmination of a 3 year surveillance operation by the Serious Organised Crime Agency into a drug trafficking ring who were directly linked to Columbian Cartel members and who were importing cocaine in huge quantities. At the time it was one of the largest SOCA operations ever undertaken.
The prosecution involved 14 defendants and relied upon the evidence of a ‘’supergrass’’. All the defendants were aquitted save for one who pleaded guilty. It was argued that the US authorities must have known about that prosecution as their participating informant was allegedly working with Mr Salazar during Operation Alpington.