Thousands search for suspected drug trafficker, Sebastian Marset

In the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz, over 2,250 police officers have been deployed as part of an international manhunt for a suspected narcotic smuggler.

32-year-old Sebastián Marset is accused of smuggling tons of cocaine from South America to Europe.

He is also accused of ordering the 2022 assassination of an anti-drug prosecutor who was killed in Colombia while on his honeymoon. Police in Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and the United States are looking for him.

Since 2022, Sebastián Marset, a man with Uruguayan nationality, has been evading capture by the authorities.

On Saturday, law enforcement officers followed him and his family to a lavish mansion in Santa Cruz, Bolivia's most populated city and the country's economic center; nevertheless, he was able to evade their grasp and escape.

Mr. Marset's bodyguards, according to Police Commander Yumor Justo Condori, have taken a police officer who was attempting to detain Mr. Marset as a hostage. After some time, the cop was let go.

It is thought that Mr. Marset, along with his wife and their three children, made their way to the neighboring province of Cochabamba in their automobile.

Officials in Bolivia said that thousands of law enforcement agents have been sent out to track him down, and on Sunday, eight different locations in Santa Cruz were searched. The search resulted in the discovery of 17 firearms, a pistol, and bulletproof vests.

Sebastián Marset is suspected of being the leader of a transnational drug trafficking organization known as PCU or the First Uruguayan Cartel. This organization is alleged to transport cocaine from Paraguay to Europe via Uruguay.

He has a lengthy record of eluding capture throughout his life. Mr. Marset was sentenced to jail time for the first time in 2013 for bringing marijuana and guns into Uruguay illegally.

After his 2018 release, he appears to have relocated to the neighboring country of Paraguay, from which he is believed to have traveled extensively using fraudulent identities.

In 2021, he was briefly detained at Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates for using a forged Paraguayan passport, but he was released after obtaining official documents from Uruguayan authorities.

Uruguay is conducting an investigation to ascertain how he obtained a new passport when he was already under investigation in multiple countries. 

His name was in the news once more in August of 2022 when Colombian President Gustavo Petro recognized Mr. Marset as the man who was accused of organizing the assassination of Marcelo Pecci, a Paraguayan anti-crime prosecutor who was assassinated while on vacation in Colombia.

Pecci was an integral member of "A Ultranza Py," the largest operation in the annals of Paraguayan history to combat the trafficking of cocaine and the laundering of illicit funds. According to the prosecution, he was murdered as retaliation for his role in disrupting a rich criminal enterprise. Authorities in Bolivia assert that Sebastián Marset visited their country shortly after being named as the individual accused of financing the assassinations of Marcelo Pecci.

According to reports, Sebastián Marset led a lavish lifestyle in Bolivia, spending significant sums on real estate and even a second-tier football team.