The Miami Herald
January 6, 2001

 Warrants issued in Colombian coke bust


 BOGOTA, Colombia -- Colombian prosecutors investigating a 7.2-ton cocaine
 shipment seized on its way to Cuba in 1998 have issued arrest warrants for two
 Spanish businessmen who allegedly owned the cargo.

 An assistant to a ``faceless'' prosecutor, whose identity is kept secret to protect
 his life, said Friday that Jose Royo Llorca and Jose Herrera Campos, now
 believed to be living in Spain, were charged with drug trafficking.

 Royo, Herrera and a Cuban government agency were partners in a plastic trinkets
 factory in Havana that was to have received the cocaine shipment from Colombia,
 hidden in six shipping containers.

 Cuban officials have said the Spaniards intended to reship the containers to Spain
 and distribute the cocaine in Europe. Police found the shipment in the Caribbean
 port of Cartagena on Dec. 3, 1998, just days before the Colombian firm E.I. Caribe
 was to ship the containers to Cuba, loaded with plastic resins for the
 Royo-Herrera company in Havana.

 The Spaniards have steadfastly denied any role in the drug shipment and allege it
 was the work of Cubans in the government agency that owns 51 percent of the
 Havana firm, Artesanias Caribeñas Poliplast y Royo.

 Prosecution aides said Colombian authorities have not yet decided whether to
 seek the extradition of Royo and Herrera, who were questioned and released by
 Spanish police days after the seizure.

 A Colombian warrant issued for the Spaniards in 1999 was only for questioning,
 they added.

 Two Colombians accused of minor roles in the shipment are awaiting trial, but one
 key suspect and a potential witness were shot to death in late 1999, leading the
 Justice Ministry to appoint a faceless prosecutor.