A pastor accused of using his position to extort and rob people on behalf of the FARC was arrested with three men in western Colombia Tuesday.
Wilson Enrique Gaitan, leader of the pentecoastal church “World Missionary Movement,” is accused of heading the criminal gang “Pastors of Costa Rica,” which tricked people out of money that was then passed to Colombia’s biggest guerrilla group.
Gaitain faces charges of kidnapping, aggravated robbery and illegal possession of weapons, according to a police press release, with the other three men accused of helping him.
Gaitan, alias “El Pastor,” is alleged to have travelled around villages in the Valle de Cauca and neighbouring Tolima department gaining the trust of locals through the church before extorting and robbing them.
The reverend and his gang members also reportedly organized religious campaigns to collect money “for the most needy” which they sent to the FARC instead, the police found.
The four men were refused bail and will remain in prison until their trial starts.