A judge declared illegal the capture of 26 of 44 people detained for allegedly supplying arms to the FARC because the raids occurred outside the timeframe allowed by the warrant, newspaper El Tiempo reported Tuesday.
The judge ruled that the warrant was valid between the hours of 6am and 6pm, while the raids took place before the warrant took effect. Prosecutors claimed the raid took place outside the time established by the warrant owing to the complexity of the arms trafficking network
The 44 captured are suspected of belonging to a criminal network which provided weapons to the 48th front of the FARC, which killed 8 policemen in an attack in the department of Putumayo two weeks ago. Among the 44 captured are seven active lower officials in the police and military, as well as 12 retired soldiers, including one colonel.
The operation included raids in 11 different cities, confiscating grenade mortars, night vision systems, a mine detector, accessories for heavy armaments, and $250,000 counterfeit dollars.
The Prosecutor General’s Office declared the operation “a strong blow against the FARC,” saying the arms trafficking organization had been successfully dismantled after nearly two years of selling weapons stolen from the Colombian armed forces.