The Nigerian Connection

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Attorney General Janet Reno announced the U.S. made 34 arrests in five cities Friday to break up an international heroin smuggling ring. Operated mainly by Nigerian women, and encouraged by Nigeria's military government, the organization moved heroin from Southeast Asia through Central America and Mexico and into the United States. Working in cooperation with police in Thailand, France and Britain, federal prosecutors and agents took almost a year to build their case and make arrests. President Clinton had high praise for the operation, which he said was part of U.S. effort to cripple major international drug-trafficking cartels. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Gelbard told reporters that the case highlights what a serious problem drug smugglers, and the political influence they can buy, have become in the post-cold war era. -->