The victim was shot dead Wednesday evening in a southern
cocaine-producing region where angry investors were demanding their
money back from a company called “Dinero Rapido Facil Efectivo,” or
The name means “Fast Money, Easy Cash” in English.
seized 66 company offices and confiscated 14 billion pesos ($6
million), according to national police director Gen. Oscar Naranjo. He
said no arrests had been made but authorities were seeking DRFE’s
On Tuesday, the Finance Ministry ordered DRFE to return
deposits to investors. It calculated the company took in 400 billion
pesos (about $180 million) from January through September.
Minister Oscar Zuluaga told reporters that authorities were
investigating whether DRFE was involved in laundering drug money. The
Associated Press could not confirm media reports that the company’s
owner fled the country.
The man killed Wednesday night, Byron
Santander, was a public official who was trying to calm upset investors
in Buesaco when he was shot by an unknown assailant, Mayor Jose Maria
Moncayo told the AP in a telephone interview.
“We don’t know who
did this or why,” Moncayo said, adding that nearly every family in
Buesaco, population 22,400, had money in DRFE.
Most of the
rioting occurred in the southern province of Narino. Authorities
imposed curfews in Buesaco and at least two other towns.
to the Finance Ministry, DRFE offered 70 percent returns on
investments, charging a 1 percent handling fee and 16 percent tax.
depended on the amount of cash deposited. Returns were promised within
23 days on investments of up to 5 million pesos ($2,200).