A convicted member of the Colombian Cali drug cartel was the husband and father of two women whose memorial service was targeted by a drive-by gunman.
A seven-year-old girl was left fighting for her life with critical injuries after being hit by shotgun pellets fired from a black Toyota. A girl aged 12 was also hit along with four women, including a 48-year-old who sustained “potentially life-changing injuries”.
The shooting took place outside a Roman Catholic church just 300 yards from Euston station in central London on Saturday afternoon. The service was being held for Fresia Calderon, 50, who died from a blood clot in November after arriving at Heathrow on a flight from Colombia, and her daughter Sara Sanchez, 20, who died three weeks later from terminal leukaemia having refused further treatment following her mother’s sudden death.
It emerged yesterday that Fresia Calderon’s former husband was jailed in the UK for his role in helping to launder money for a London drugs gang linked to the notorious Colombian Cali cartel. Carlos Arturo Sanchez-Coronado earned notoriety as the first man ever to be extradited from Colombia to the UK where he was jailed in 2009 for his part as the gang’s “money deliverer” after he pleaded guilty to three charges linked to money laundering and fake documents.
When police raided the homes of the ringleaders in north-west London they discovered millions of pounds in cash, and cocaine and marijuana with a street value of £100 million. The organisation’s share of the UK drugs market was so great that when it was dismantled, the price of cocaine in the country rose by 50 per cent.
Mr Sanchez-Coronado, who was born in Cali, served time in a UK jail before moving back to South America and had been living in the Chilean capital of Santiago. It is understood he passed away last year at the age of 56.
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