A former captain of the presidential guard has been detained in northern Colombia on Tuesday for his involvement in the country’s largest drug trafficking organization, Los Urabeños, announced local police.
After a three-year investigation, police arrested Johan Arenas Rua, alias “Captain America,” or “El Capi,” the chief financial officer for Colombia’s largest transnational crime syndicate.
According to the Prosecutor General’s unit on organized crime, El Capi was responsible for paying off public officials to facilitate drug trafficking, and ran operations in the Antioquia state where he was arrested.
The suspect allegedly confessed to charges of criminal conspiracy and was subsequently transferred to a prison facility. When searching his apartment, police found $3,000, cell phones, and computers.
Colonel Ramiro Riveros of the National Police told press that authorities have long been investigating El Capi.
“For three years we have carried out the very important task of identifying and prosecuting El Capi for criminal conspiracy,” said Riveros at a press conference.
“El Capi” served in the army between 2006 and 2008, before retiring voluntarily, and was also an honored member of the Presidential Guard of former President Alvaro Uribe. He retired in 2008, presumably to focus on the drug trafficking business.
The Urabeños became Colombia’s most prominent drug trafficking organization following the demobilization of paramilitary organization AUC. The group is led by “Otoniel,” a former mid-level commander of the AUC.