A drug lord known as 'White Head' who used plastic surgery to change his appearance has been captured by Brazilian police after three decades on the run.

Luiz Carlos da Rocha was arrested on Saturday (1 July) in the state of Mato Grosso, and is one of South America's biggest cocaine kingpins having reportedly amassed a personal fortune of $100m (£77m).

Under the police's operation spectrum, 150 agents carried out 24 raids and seized Police also seized $10m worth of the drug lord's assets, including planes, properties and luxury cars.

Spectrum refers in Portuguese to the phantom-like nature of a fugitive "who lived discreetly and in the shadows... evading police attempts for almost 30 years", said police.

Rocha had changed his name to Vitor Luiz de Moraes, they the authorities.

They added that after comparing old photos of Rocha's facial characteristics with an up-to-date image of de Moraes, they concluded it was the same person.

Rocha has previously been sentenced by Brazilian courts to more than 50 years in prison for international drug trafficking and money laundering.

Police say Rocha's cartel produced cocaine in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia and exported it to Europe and the United States via Brazil and Paraguay. In Brazil alone, police estimate Rocha brought in five tones of cocaine per month.

Luiz Carlos da Rocha
Luiz Carlos da Rocha had plastic surgery on his face in an effort to evade Brazilian police Federal Police