Colombian beauty queen held for drug trafficking

Buenos Aires, May 28 (DPA) Colombian model Angie Sanclemente Valencia was arrested in Buenos Aires, after months on the run, for allegedly leading a drug trafficking gang.

Sanclemente Valencia, 31, who made a name for herself as a beauty queen and lingerie model, insists that she is innocent. Argentine authorities allege she led a gang that used beautiful women to smuggle cocaine to Europe.

She testified before Argentine courts Thursday, a day after she was arrested at a Buenos Aires youth hostel where she had registered under a false identity. Sanclemente Valencia had dyed her hair blond and only had $36 on her when she was arrested, the Argentine daily Clarin reported Thursday.

Police reportedly found her because she gave an interview to a Colombian newspaper.

Sanclemente Valencia won the prestigious Coffee Queen beauty pageant in Colombia in 2000, and later earned a lot of money as a model.

According to Argentine media reports, the woman travelled from Mexico to Argentina December 7. She had gone underground after one of her model-couriers was arrested at Ezeiza airport in Buenos Aires with 55 kg of cocaine in her luggage.

Through her lawyer, Sanclemente Valencia argued, however, that she was scared of being raped in jail. Her Argentine boyfriend Nicolas Gualco, who is also in jail, has also denied all allegations against himself and his Colombian partner.