Start of the trial in Basel against drug lord Alvaro H. (47)
He smuggled nine tons of cocaine worth CHF 129.5 million
He lived in a poor-looking apartment building in Basel. According to the public prosecutor, Alvaro H. directed a massive global cocaine trade. As of Monday, the Colombian drug lord is on trial in Basel. Blick reports live.
Alvaro H. and his gang members ran a “ranch” on Sandgrubenstrasse in Basel. From here they sold cocaine to middlemen and end customers. Some of the coke was imported via a fruit trading company. One of them had her address in Basel – in a normal block of flats.
The trial against the Colombian drug lord Alvaro H.* (47) begins today at the Basel criminal court.
The Colombian-Spanish dual citizen is before the criminal court because, according to the indictment, he is said to have acted in a “globally active drug trafficking group at the highest management level that is extremely rarely visible”. And this as part of the Clan del Golfo, the most powerful crime syndicate in Colombia. Alvaro H. has been living in the city of Basel since 2012 and has a C permit.
Behind bars since April 2021
The Basel-Stadt cantonal police arrested the gangster on April 7, 2021 in his apartment just behind the Messeturm.
The investigators found only a few dozen grams of cocaine in the run-down apartment building – but several cell phones, thanks to which they were able to uncover the international connections. So it came to light that the Basel native is involved with the Clan del Golfo and is building its own cartel called Medusa.
Cocaine instead of lychees
The indictment sounds like the script of a Hollywood film. He participated in international transports, which he let run through his fruit trade. Hidden in shipments of pineapples, bananas or lychees, the coke went to Europe, Africa and Australia. The public prosecutor assumes eight to nine tons of cocaine that Alvaro H. had smuggled.
Despite the large-scale trade that Alvaro H. is said to have run, he constantly had money problems in Switzerland. Although he sent a lot of money to relatives in Spain and bought a villa on Mallorca, he lived on 500 francs a month in Basel. He collected debt enforcement, was temporarily registered with the social welfare office and often owed the landlord the rent. This is probably why Alvaro H. ran a “ranch” with accomplices in two Basel apartments, where he packaged individual portions of a few grams for end consumers.
The public prosecutor’s office has not yet communicated the required sentence, the trial is scheduled for three and a half days. However, because Alvaro H. is judged by a five-member panel of judges in the chamber of the criminal court, imprisonment of more than five years is possible.