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Alleged meth trafficker arrested

The Spokesman-Review

Mexico said Monday that U.S. authorities have arrested alleged methamphetamine trafficker Zhenli Ye Gon, whose mansion was the scene of what U.S. officials say was the world’s largest seizure of drug cash.

Mexico’s attorney general’s office said Ye Gon was detained in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Rockville, Md. He is wanted in Mexico on organized crime, drug trafficking and weapons charges. Mexican officials have requested his arrest for extradition.

In March, Mexican agents found more than $207 million in dollar, peso and euro bills in a mansion owned by Ye Gon in one of the capital’s most exclusive neighborhoods.

Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora said the money was connected to one of the hemisphere’s largest networks for trafficking pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient in methamphetamines. He said the ring had been operating since 2004, illegally importing the substance and selling it to a drug cartel that mixed it into the crystal form and imported into the United States.

PARIS

Medical workers leave Libya

Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor sentenced to life in prison in Libya for allegedly contaminating children with the AIDS virus left Tripoli today on board a plane with the French president’s wife, France’s presidential palace said.

The delegation, which had arrived in Tripoli on Sunday to negotiate their release, included the European Union commissioner for foreign affairs, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and chief French presidential aide Claude Gueant. The plane was heading to Bulgaria, the Elysee Palace said.

France had been seeking the return home of the six – in jail for the past eight years – in a final goodwill gesture by Libya after it commuted their death sentences in favor of life in prison.

Bulgaria made an official request Thursday for Tripoli to repatriate the medics to serve their sentences in Bulgaria. It granted citizenship to the Palestinian doctor, Ashraf al-Hazouz, last month.

JAKARTA, Indonesia

Dozens feared dead in landslides

Rescuers struggled to get aid to regions cut off by floods today in central Indonesia, where landslides overwhelmed hundreds of homes and buried more than 50 people.

Seven bodies have been recovered, but at least 45 remained buried since the landslides struck Sunday on Sulawesi island, said Rustam Pakaya, head of the Health Ministry’s crisis center.

“We believe they have been killed,” Pakaya said.

He said roads blocked by floods were preventing officials from distributing rice, instant noodles, blankets, medicine and other emergency supplies to some 16,000 forced from their homes.

Seasonal downpours cause dozens of landslides and flash floods each year in Indonesia, where millions of people live in mountainous regions and near fertile flood plains close to rivers.

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