Seven Colombian migration officials are facing jail time for a coordinated crime ring that allowed criminals wanted by national and international authorities to leave the country unchecked.
According to the Prosecutor General’s office, the officials used false documents to allow for the departure of suspected criminals with ties to narcotics trafficking and money laundering.
The migration officials, as part of a paid service, allegedly erased criminal records, altered and falsified documents and allowed the passage of double bottom suitcases with millions of dollars that were not reported upon entering the country. Reportedly, they charged between $2,000-2,500 for these services.
During the investigation the authorities seized counterfeit documents such as passports and identity cards, stamps, migration seals and large sums of cash.
The migration officials have been charged with human trafficking, bribery, conspiracy and the use of false public documents.
In the judicial proceedings, a judge found that the accused officials represent a danger to society and have a substantial risk of the fleeing. He ordered the accused to be detained while a criminal case moves forward.
The Prosecutor General began its investigation after a man detained in the United States, who had passed through Colombia, explained how he was able to leave the country without a problem.
The Colombian paper El Espectador revealed on Thursday audio files that showed the criminal ring had ties to a private secretary of a Prosecutor General’s Office unit director, Carmen Sofia Carreño, and her husband Luis Enrique Torres.
In July 2014, Carreño and Torres, were captured at El Dorado Airport in Bogota while entering the country with over $1 million in cash in a double bottom suitcase.