Top Colombian drug lord held

Top Colombian drug lord held

Maximiliano Bonilla Orozco, alias "Valenciano", was arrested late Sunday in Maracay, Xinhua reported.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has praised his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez for the bilateral initiatives that led to his capture.

"It is a happy coincidence he was captured last night and today we can give Colombia this good news. It is a sign that if we work together, we are going to achieve better results," Santos said Monday.

Valenciano controlled "a series of structures dedicated to crime and drug trafficking, and so for us, he had become an extremely high value target", he said.

Santos thanked Chavez and Venezuelan authorities for the capture.

Chavez said Valenciano was wanted not only in Colombia, but also in Venezuela, as the drug lord controlled some of the region's powerful criminal rings.

"I want to stress that in Venezuela we haven't allowed and we aren't going to allow the violation of our sovereignty by any drug dealer, guerrilla member, terrorist or whatever," he said.

Valenciano, 39, controlled drug trafficking routes to Jamaica, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

He was also allegedly linked to the trafficking of tonnes of cocaine from Colombia to the US, which has offered a $5-million reward for information leading to his capture.