Spain arrests four over Colombian drug lord slaying

14th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Spanish police arrested four suspects over the murder of a Colombian drug lord in a Madrid hospital in January, investigators said Friday.

MADRID - The four were identified as three Colombians and a Romanian national but their names were not given.

Leonidas Vargas, 60, was struck down by four shots on January 8 in his room in the Doce de Octubre hospital where he was being treated for a pulmonary complaint.

Police said the motive was probably a settling of accounts.

Six days after the killing, gunmen in Colombia also murdered his brother, Fabio Vargas, and the actress and former beauty queen Liliana Lozano.

Spanish police arrested Leonidas Vargas in July 2006 in connection with a shipment of 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) of cocaine. He had since been released on bail as the investigation continued pending a possible trial.

At the time of his arrest, Colombia was offering a reward of five million dollars (3.8 million euros at current exchange rates) for his capture.

Vargas was convicted by a Colombian court for drug trafficking in 1995, sentencing him to 19 years in jail and fining him 1.5 million dollars.

Investigators considered Vargas a key figure in the Colombian drugs trade, linked to the Medellin cartel.

Spain is Europe's main entry point for cocaine from South America, mostly from Colombia, the world's top producer of the drug.

AFP / Expatica

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