CARACAS: Former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s ex-intelligence chief, accused by the US of ties to the drug trade and leftist guerrillas in Colombia, has been arrested in Aruba, officials in Caracas said Thursday.

Hugo Carvajal, a retired general who served as the late Chavez’s military intelligence chief from 2004 to 2011, was arrested Wednesday night on the Caribbean island, which forms part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. He was appointed Venezuela’s consul general to the island in January, but Dutch authorities rejected his claim to diplomatic immunity, Venezuela said. “Venezuela emphatically rejects the illegal and arbitrary detention of a Venezuelan diplomatic official bearing a passport that accredits him as such,” the foreign ministry said in a statement, calling on Dutch King Willem-Alexander to “rectify” the situation.

Carvajal was accused by the US Treasury Department in 2008 of arming Colombia’s FARC rebels, protecting drug shipments the guerrilla group sent through Venezuela, giving them official government IDs and allowing them to maintain a stronghold along the Venezuelan-Colombian border.