Colombian national police conducted raids in 11 departments of the country overnight, dismantling 5 criminal syndicates, arresting a total of 54 people allegedly linked with extortion crimes, according to on-line news magazine Minuto30. The criminal organizations that were dismantled were located in Antioquia, Atlántico, Sucre and Cauca Valley.
Included among the extortionists were four uniformed active police officers in western Antioquia. According to complaints, the corrupt policemen entered a rural farmhouse on the outskirts of Rionegro and demanded 250 million pesos in exchange for not enforcing a detention order with potential extradition consequences.
Three of the four police officers are being detained without bail due to the extensive nature of the crimes, which include extortion kidnapping, aggravated extortion and intent to commit an aggravated crime. The fourth officer was not detained but is still under investigation, as he was not though to be physically present during the crime.
In addition, 5 members of the PCV were captured in the Atlantic cost region of Colombia, including the leader of the criminal organization, according to the national police. The group is responsible for targeted assassinations, theft and extortions in the city of Barranquilla.
As part of the national operation, 10 of the individuals from Colombia’s Sucre region were charged with intent to commit crimes of extortion and homicide, along with aggravated homicide. These 10 individuals were members of a criminal gang that called themselves “The Pharaohs”.
The Pharaohs are thought to be connected to recent criminal activity in Sincelejo, Sampues, Santiago of Tolu and Coveñas in 2016, where there were 11 total victims.
Cali was part of the national raids as well, where 18 members of the “Grandparents” criminal syndicate were captured. This group was responsible for the extortions of merchants in Cali’s Comuna 15, along with illegal drug sales. They have been accused of armed robbery and the targeted assassinations of rival gangs in the area as well.