A 17 year-old boy, who is accused of being a notorious hitman who has carried out more than 30 murders after being captured in the Colombian city of Cali on Thursday (2 February). The alleged teenage assassin, who is only known by his nickname "Frijolito" which means "Little Bean", is believed to have begun killing aged just 12.

The alleged killer was picked up by the Metropolitan Police force in the city, in the west of the country, after a four-month manhunt. The force described the teenager as "a highly dangerous criminal" on Friday after his apprehension.

It has been reported that Little Bean was the head of a gang of drug traffickers called Los del Ave. And his nickname was taken from a novel about Colombian hitmen.

Amongst his alleged crimes was a merciless double murder in a shopping centre last September in front of shocked customers which was captured by CCTV cameras. The suspect also shot dead a security guard working at the centre who tried to stop him escaping.

Cali police chief Hugo Casas said the teenager "probably began his life of crime very young due to gangs and crime rings."

Casas added, "He is really a dangerous person, it was good to get him and let's say the city is free of a person who could continue doing these deeds outside authority," according to the Associated Press (AP).

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Casas said that the force will continue to try to ensnare his gang. The alleged offender is now being held at a juvenile detention centre. He is due to be transferred to an adult prison when he is 18.

From the early 1970s to the late 1990s the city of Cali was ruled by a brutal cartel that carried the city's name which was implicated in dozens of kidnappings and murders.

Its founders were the Rodríguez Orejuela brothers, Gilberto and Miguel, who were both handed 30-year prison terms in the US in 2006 after pleading guilty to guilty to charges of conspiring to import cocaine to the US.