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Alleged leader of cocaine cartel held

Published:Sunday | July 20, 2014 | 12:00 AM

MADRID (AP):

Spanish police say they have arrested a Colombian suspected of being the leader of a ruthless criminal organisation linked to 400 murders, international drug trafficking and extortion.

The 40-year-old man, identified as Hernan Alonso Villa and described as one of Colombia's most wanted criminals, was arrested last Friday while driving on a highway on the outskirts of the south eastern Mediterranean port city of Alicante, police said in a statement.

Alonso Villa is alleged to be the head of a cartel, or criminal organisation, from Medellin, Colombia. The cartel was founded by Diego Murillo Bejarano, and has fought bloody turf wars with notorious drug baron Pablo Escobar.