THIS is the shocking moment the accused drug kingpin dubbed ‘Don Carlos’ was arrested by Spanish police in a dramatic sting at a Marbella coffee shop.
Footage released by the police shows Florentino Fernandez, who was said to have been involved in the smuggling of drugs in Colombia for 30 years, ambushed by officers as he drank coffee at a bar in Marbella on the Costa del Sol.
The alleged drug lord, who was linked to the feared Colombian Cali and Medellin cartels, was cuffed by cops after detectives tracked a 60kg haul of cocaine hidden inside flower boxes.
Policia Nacional said the arrest came following a joint investigation with Colombian authorities which traced the A-Class drug stashed between bouquets from Colombia.
Officers had stopped on the outskirts of Seville and searched the container on the back of the vehicle, where they located the drug stash hidden inside. Two people were arrested at the scene.
However, as the net closed around Fernandez, police also exposed a whole new complex drug network as Don Carlos was in the process of transferring the drug load to its final buyers. Police believe that the ‘powerful Spanish drug trafficker’ had brought the cocaine from Colombia to sell in Malaga. At his house detectives found €200,000 and a revolver.
Police, who said they first became aware of the feared drug lord in 1993, intend to freeze property valued at €350,000 as well as the bank accounts of three people and six companies.
Don Carlos, who was born in Asturias in northern Spain, has long been known for his links to high-ranking members of the Medellin and Cali cartels.
He spent several years living in Colombia and Venezuela, and at one stage was registered as living at the Madrid home of Gilberto Orejuela, one of the founders of the Cali cartel.
In 1998 he was sentenced to 24 years in prison after being accused of leading an organisation that kidnapped two women for an outstanding debt derived from drug trafficking but returned to drug smuggling when he was released.
He has also been investigated for his ties to ETA, the Basque separatist group.
In late 2020 cops received information that he was planning to import large quantities of cocaine from South America, prompting an 18-month operation that led to his arrest.