A police sniffer dog who has found record amounts of illegal drugs has been moved from her post after one of Colombia’s biggest drug gangs put a bounty on her head.
Sombra, which means Shadow in English, had been based in Turbo in the Urabá region of Colombia, a strategic point for traffickers with easy access to the sea.
In the last few years, the German Shepherd’s work has led directly to 245 arrests.
Colombia’s biggest drugs gang, the Urabeños, put a price on Sombra’s head after she sniffed out 10 tonnes of their cocaine earlier this year.
The gang is offering the equivalent of £53,000 for anyone who kills her, according to police intelligence.
She was redeployed earlier this year from the Urabeños heartland to the country’s main airport. Bogotá’s El Dorado is considered safer because it is outside the area of the gang’s influence.
But police say they are taking no chances. As well as her usual handler, Sombra is now accompanied by extra officers to increase her protection.
The Urabeños, who are also known as the Gulf Clan, are considered Colombia’s most powerful criminal organisation.
The gang’s boss, Dairo Antonio Úsuga also known as Otoniel, is one of Colombia’s most wanted men.
“The fact they want to hurt Sombra and offer such a high reward for her capture or death shows the impact she’s had on their profits,” said a police spokesperson.
Colombia is one of the world’s leading producers of cocaine, with an output of around 910 tonnes per year, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
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