April 19, 1997 in Nation/World

Drug Kingpin’s Arrest A Real Beauty

Compiled From Wire Services

Apparently betrayed by a beauty queen, the most hunted figure in Colombia’s drug world was captured in western Venezuela, sparking a tussle Friday between U.S. and Colombian authorities who seek to bring him to trial in their own countries.

Pastor Perafan, a former army sergeant with a massive fortune, was arrested Thursday in San Cristobal, Venezuela.

Prosecutors put his worth at astronomical levels - with one estimate reaching $10 billion.

To the chagrin of Colombia, Perafan, 50, was not immediately expelled across the border. Venezuela said it was mulling extradition requests by both Colombia and the United States. Perafan is also wanted by courts in Italy, Costa Rica and Panama.

Perafan’s downfall may have been his penchant for beauty queens. The father of 10 children by six different women, Perafan was rarely seen without a ravishing companion.

A month ago, police arrested his latest companion, Luz Adriana Ruiz, a former regional beauty queen.

Ruiz told authorities where Perafan could be found.

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