At least six Colombian informants who were providing valuable information about drug trafficking organizations to British counternarcotics agents were killed between 2000 and 2004 due to alleged carelessness by agents, newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.
According to the British newspaper, a former counternarcotics officer told U.K. television network Channel 4 that British authorities handed over confidential statements from the informants to “trusted Colombian officials,” who apparently leaked the information to the drug gangs.
The informants, who were disclosing information about a multi-billion dollar drug trafficking operation, were reportedly tortured and shot by the drug traffickers.
The leaked information was caused by alleged “dysfunctional” and “reckless” behavior, which led to a lack of adequate safeguards in the covert operation.
The whistle-blowing former officer explained that “the decisions made, and the rules I was forced to follow in the handling of some people, resulted in their deaths.”
Channel 4 will broadcast the full report on the case in the U.K. on Thursday evening.