11 Nov 2011

NZ man wanted on drugs charges in Argentina

3:45 pm on 11 November 2011

Interpol has issued a red alert for a New Zealand man wanted by police in Argentina for drug-related crimes.

The Argentinian police sought Interpol's help in searching for Peter Leaitua, 40, who speaks Spanish. An arrest warrant has been issued for him.

New Zealand police confirm they have received a request from Interpol in Buenos Aires to help find Mr Leaitua.

They say there is a connection with the death of Sorlinda Vega, a Colombian woman who died in Auckland Hospital on 7 September after one of 26 packages of cocaine inside her body burst.

Ms Vega, 37, had just arrived from the Argentinian capital, Buenos Aires, with members of her family, including her New Zealand son-in-law.