Former Venezuela Spy Chief Wanted by U.S. Is Detained in Spain
(Bloomberg) -- A former Venezuelan intelligence chief was captured by Spanish police after going into hiding in 2019 to evade a U.S.’s court extradition request.
Hugo Carvajal, who led the intelligence police under former Hugo Chavez’s government for over a decade, was arrested in Spain after running from a U.S. 2019 extradition request on charges of drug and arms smuggling, and illicit association, Spain’s National Police announced.
As head of Venezuela’s DGCIM military police, Carvajal worked with a Colombia’s FARC guerrilla group to smuggle cocaine into the U.S., according the U.S. arrest warrant. The U.S. Treasury sanctioned him in 2008 for working with the FARC. He went into exile in Spain in 2019, were he was arrested while local courts took up the issue of his extradition.
Carvajal’s defense has said that the U.S.’s extradition request is politically motivated and he would not receive a fair trial.
“He lived in total seclusion, without going outside or looking out the window, and always protected by trusted people,” Spain’s National Police said in a twitter post showing his arrest.
Carvajal was briefly detained in Aruba in 2014 on a U.S. request. He then returned to Venezuela, where he won election as a lawmaker and then was appointed as Maduro’s representative to Aruba. In 2019, shortly after opposition leader Juan Guaido presented himself as the legitimate leader of Venezuela, Carvajal released a video backing him and referring to Maduro as a dictator.
READ: Spanish Police Detain Venezuela’s Carvajal in Madrid
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