Former trafficker for the infamous Cali cartel is arrested in Marbella

National Police photo of the arrest being carried out.
National Police photo of the arrest being carried out. / SUR
  • It is estimated that the Dutch national of Colombian origin is responsible for laundering six million euros of drug money via cryptocurrencies

A Dutch national of Colombian origin who belonged to the infamous Cali drug cartel has been arrested by the National Police in Marbella.

The detainee, Mario A. H., who was well-connected with the number one target on Interpol's wanted list, Curtis F. W., is credited with money laundering on a large scale. It is estimated that he could have moved more than six million euros from drug trafficking in cryptocurrencies, according to a police statement issued on Sunday.

The operation, carried out by the National Police in collaboration with Dutch police and the Tax Office, is the result of an investigation started in 2018 when it became known that a gang with links to well-known individuals in the drug trafficking world was based in Malaga. Investigators soon discovered that one of the gang's leaders had settled in Marbella during the summer.

This was Mario, now 51 years old. He had a luxury home in Guadalmina to which he fled after increased attention from police in the Netherlands.

He moved from Colombia to Europe when he was just 25, acting as the representative of the Cali cartel, mainly in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, controlling shipments of large quantities of cocaine. However, after spending time behind bars and the collapse of the Cali cartel, Mario had to reinvent himself and turned to money laundering.

During his arrest at his luxury villa, which witnesses said involved around 20 officers, no weapons nor drugs were found. In fact, all that was found were computers and 85,000 euros in cash and cards which gave access to cryptocurrency accounts.