According to Colombia’s National Police, Walter Hernandez Muñeton, alias “El Viejo” was arrested in the Caqueta department where operations are carried out to release the hostages.
The police did not say if the FARC guerrilla is involved in the kidnapping, but hold him responsible for the murder of a mayor of the city of Florencia and several attacks on towns in Caqueta.
Colombian security forces have been looking “by air, land and sea” for the kidnappers and their hostages.
The Chinese government said Friday it also is doing what it can to secure the release of the Chinese.
According to Beijing, it is “making every effort” to rescue the kidnapped oil workers of Chinese oil company Sinochem.
“The Chinese government always grants great importance to the security and legal rights of Chinese citizens,” the government said in a brief statement.
“We have verified all information relating to the kidnapping and are making every effort” to seek the release of the hostages.
Sinochem, the victims’ employer, refused to confirm Colombian statements that its employees were kidnapped for extortion purposes.
“We do not want to say anything now. When we must, we will announce it,” a company spokesman told reporters.
The Caqueta kidnapping is the second time this year, alleged FARC rebels succeed to take workers of foreign companies hostage. In March, 23 employees of Canadian oil company Talisman were kidnapped. All but one were released the next day.