Three policemen were arrested in the northern Colombian city of Barranquilla for allegedly kidnapping a businessman, the police said Thursday.
Without a warrant and without informing their authorities, the three officers of the Barranquilla police department held captive the businessman, an exporter of heavy construction machinery, in a car off the highway near the town’s local prison.
Colonel Juan Nieto Aldana, deputy commander of the police precinct, said Thursday at a press conference that a disciplinary investigation against officials opened because they were “violating some very rigorous protocols that exist for personnel.”
Official information indicates that the regional police commander, Ramiro Castrillon Lara, received a call at 6:20 in the evening warning him of a missing vehicle and missing person.
Castrillon dispatched a search team, and shortly after patrol units encountered a very recognizable car — property of the police forces — inside of which sat the businessman and two of the officers.
“We realized that inside were a citizen and two members of Sijin,” stated the official.
The businessman explained that the three officers told him he was facing charges for his arrest, in order to justify the strange operation.
“(The businessman) says that (the policemen) notified him of an alleged order of arrest and that the officials had been identified as members of Sijin,” stated deputy commander Nieto.
In internal discussions, the three police agents stated they just sought to verify the information from a source about possibly arresting a man wanted by law enforcement.
However, the criminal records system revealed no warrant for the businessman’s arrest.
Further, insisted Nieto, the three officials violated the protocol. The intelligence team (Sipol) and the law enforcement (Sijin) cannot carry out procedures without a warrant or without the knowledge of their superiors, according to law.
As the prosecutor’s office present the three officials in a hearing before a judge, the policemen could face simultaneous criminal investigations for kidnapping.