Grapevine: Apr. 16, 1990

DRUGS FOR YEN. Colombia's Cali drug cartel, seeking to beat out the rival Medellin cartel, has been recruiting U.S. traffickers willing to go on a long journey. Destination? Japan, a nation ripe for exploitation. Cocaine sells there for $85,000 a kilogram, in contrast to $17,000 in Miami. Japanese police, according to a secret Drug Enforcement Administration cable, do not have a simple computer system to store criminal histories, much less one that can analyze telephone toll records or trace money-laundering trails.


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