Greater police presence is needed for the agricultural distribution company Corabastos, according to the general manager, after being named by an NGO on Monday as being the main entry point for Bogota‘s drugs.
Hector William Varela, who manages Colombia’s largest wholesale distributor Corabastos, said that there are only 38 police officers located at the entire company and asked for greater support from police, in an El Espectador interview published Tuesday.
Varela said “There are 270 private security guards but they cannot perform searches or confiscate goods, nor make arrests.”
According to Caracol Radio, Corabastos is on a 260 square mile site, providing the workplace for 6,500 vendors and receiving 20,000 visitors daily.
The general manager, however, also added that during his tenure he has not seen evidence of criminal activity such as money laundering, as well as drugs and arms trafficking, that was alleged in the Bogota criminality study released by NGO Nuevo Arco Iris Monday.
Varela, who has been at the helm of Corabastos for one year, said any trafficking taking place at his company is the fault of the failings of the National Police. “If what the report says is true, it means that trucks are going along the roads of this country without any sort of control.”
He did however stress the support received from Director of Bogota’s Metropolitan Police General Francisco Patiño and Director of National Police General Oscar Naranjo.
General Naranjo offered a $27,000 (COP50 million) reward to anyone who can help stop the criminal gangs who operate on the premises of the wholesaler.