Spanish cops almost missed out on a major arrest after notifying the FBI they had caught a wanted criminal only to get a panicked reply from US authorities asking: “Did you arrest the wife as well?”
As it turned out the man they arrested at Barcelona’s El Prat airport was travelling with his wife who is one of the most wanted women in the USA, where she is accused of running an international organisation responsible for attempting to traffic 3.5 tonnes of cocaine into the country.
However, Spanish newspaper El Pais reports that the local police were not aware of the warrant, and the suspect passed through passport security without issues whilst her husband was arrested.
They then spend the weekend trying to correct the error and eventually caught up with Carmen Mireya Alarcon Rivera, 47, better known as ‘La Senora’ (The woman) or ‘La Jefa’ (the boss) and detained her outside her apartment in the Vilapiscina neighbourhood in Barcelona yesterday (14th April).
In a further embarrassment for the Spanish officials, she had apparently been living there with her two children for years, again without detection despite the outstanding arrest warrant.
In a statement obtained by Newsflash, Spanish national police stated that Rivera was on INTERPOL’s wanted list for her alleged involvement in a drug trafficking network operating between South America and the United States.
The traffickers reportedly attempted to transport 3,400 kilogrammes (7,495 lbs) from Colombia into the United States.
Rivera was reportedly born in Ecuador but later obtained Spanish nationality and was a legal resident of the neighbourhood in Barcelona where she was detained.
According to authorities, Spanish nationality is highly coveted among drug traffickers in South America as it makes crossing Europe’s borders extremely easily.
‘The Boss’ is accused of being the cocaine networks leader, coordinating the shipment of cocaine from Colombia via sea routes in Ecuador and Mexico to the United States.
American authorities report that: “She coordinated the refuelling and resupplying of the ships”
They added:” The ships sailed without a flag disguised as fishing boats, with at least one vessel being owned directly by the suspect”
Rivera is currently being held in preliminary detention whilst authorities complete extradition proceedings after which she is expected to be sent to the United States for trial.