Former drug smuggler’s son led network that killed more than a thousand sharks a month to sell fins

A police officer infiltrates the most powerful network of shark fin poachers and smugglers in the Colombian Pacific. While a fisherman was paid 25 thousand pesos per fin, the head of the network, the son of a powerful former drug trafficker, sold it for up to 600 thousand pesos. Criminals killed at least a thousand sharks in a month.

According to a fisherman who spoke to the Noticias Caracol team, this is an activity that some residents of the area have been doing for survival since childhood.
“We have also taught our nephews to fish, because it is the only way for us in Buenaventura to survive and bring food home. “We hunt all types of sharks, but our favorite is the hammerhead shark,” Says the fisherman from Buenaventura.

For this cruel business in which The dead sharks are returned to the sea while the fins are torn off with knives and sold to traders in Buenaventura They pay them up to 30 thousand dollars.

“This organization was directed by Fernando Aka, this person bought or offered shark fins and was also in charge of paying fishermen for the fins. “This guy used a company, a fish marketer, to give the appearance of legitimacy to shark fins,” says one investigator.

From Buenaventura they took the shark fins to a well-known fishing company based in Roldanillo, Valle del Cauca. The agent says it is owned by Fernando Rodríguez Mondragon, son of former boss and head of the Vale cartel, Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela.

Alias ​​Fernando is considered by police to be Colombia’s most powerful shark fin smuggler.

Authorities have seized 2.5 tonnes of shark fins this year, compared to 1.5 tonnes last year.

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