updated 2/8/2007 9:25:41 PM ET 2007-02-09T02:25:41

A reputed drug kingpin sought by the United States has been deported to Colombia, Cuba's government said Thursday. Colombia has said it will extradite Luis Hernando Gomez Bustamante to the U.S.

The government announcement read over Cuban state television said that Gomez Bustamante was turned over to Colombian authorities at 2:23 p.m. local time at Havana's international airport.

Gomez, an alleged top boss of Colombia's Norte del Valle cartel known by his alias "Rasguno," is wanted on a U.S. indictment in New York on drug trafficking, racketeering and money-laundering charges.

He had been held in Cuba since his 2004 arrest at a Havana airport on charges of carrying a false passport. He had fled Colombia after Washington offered rewards of $5 million each for the South American country's top drug traffickers.

Gomez would be the most senior reputed drug boss extradited to the United States since Cali cartel chief Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela was extradited in March 2005.

Cuba does not have diplomatic relations of any kind, including an extradition treaty, with the United States.

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