Spanish police say they have arrested seven people in the southern town of Cala de Mijas on suspicion of planning to assassinate a businessman on orders from a Colombian drug cartel.

A police statement Saturday said the investigation began in 2014, when evidence emerged that a gang in Madrid was being paid 90,000 euros ($101,740) to travel south and kill "a Marbella resident and two bodyguards."

Police arrested four men including a Colombian ringleader, a woman and two minors — all suspects — in the raid. The plan was to allegedly use a child as the "trigger" in the attack, a technique police say is employed in Colombia to take advantage of legal difficulties in pinning charges on minors.

It was not immediately clear when the arrests took place.