Spanish police said Tuesday they had arrested a leading member of one of Colombia's most feared drug-trafficking cartels, 'Norte del Valle.'

Orlando Sabogal Zuluaga, 40, was arrested last Thursday in a shopping center in Majadahonda, on Madrid's outskirts, the Civil Guard police force said in a statement posted on the Interior Ministry's Web site.

Police said Sabogal Zuluaga was a right-hand man to Luis Hernando Gomez Bustamente, head of the 'Norte del Valle' gang. The Civil Guard statement said the group was blamed for hundreds of killings in Colombia and suspected of controlling much of the world's cocaine trafficking.

Spanish police began searching for Sabogal following a request from the U.S. embassy in Spain. The 'Norte del Valle' cartel is suspected of having shipped 500 tons of cocaine into the United States over the past decade, police said.

Sabogal is wanted for his suspected role in several killings, narcotics trafficking and money laundering, the statement said. U.S. authorities had offered compensation $5 million for information leading to his arrest, it added.