Lions and tigers seized in raid on Mexico drugs ring

POLICE have smashed a major drugs ring in Mexico City seizing weapons, vehicles — and lions and tigers.

11 Colombians, a US citizen, two Mexicans and an Uruguayan were detained during a raid on a sprawling mansion, prosecutor Marisela Morales said.

The property, with walls, ceilings and furniture made almost entirely of ornately carved wood, was used by the traffickers for nighttime parties.

Those who received invitations were picked up at nearby shopping centre car parks in vehicles with blacked-out windows to stop them from seeing where they were going.

The mansion was equipped with a private zoo housing a collection of animals including two tigers and two lions.

Police turned the exotic animals over to prosecutors. It was unclear what they planned to do with them. Ms Morales identified the gang’s leader as Teodoro Fino Restrepo, who allegedly arranged for sea-borne cocaine shipments from Colombia to Mexico’s Beltran Leyva cartel.

Also detained in the police raid was US citizen Raul Munoz Montalvo, of Texas. All the suspects are being held on suspicion of drug trafficking, money laundering and organised-crime activities.

Nine Mexicans working as waiters and disc jockeys were held and released.

Authorities had been investigating the group since 2005, the prosecutor said.

“This is important, because it breaks a logistic link in the chain that supplies Mexican cartels with cocaine,” she said.

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