In a joint operation by Colombian and US authorities, an American citizen wanted for the alleged abuse and assault of minors has been detained in the state of Valle del Cauca, local media reported on Wednesday.
After a tipoff by local citizens alerted authorities, Richard Haugh — wanted in the US for the alleged crimes of rape, abuse, assault and distribution of obscene material to minors — was arrested in the southwestern town of Jamundi, near Cali, El Espectador newspaper reported.
According to the Colombian Foreign Ministry, Haugh was on the most wanted list by the Police Department Massachusetts and was arrested in Jamundi posing as an Ecuadorian citizen named “Vicente Ricardo Paz Huever Reich”, Caracol Radio stated.
After the arrest and during the identity verification process, Colombian immigration officials discovered that Haugh had physically erased his fingerprints “However, thanks to one of the prints, which was not removed entirely, fingerprint experts managed to establish the full identity of the American citizen, which was confirmed by members of the Diplomatic Security Service and the Research Program Regional Office of the United States,” the Foreign Ministry added.
According to US authorities, Richard Haugh — who has previously worked as a doctor, writer, editor and scholar — will be transferred from Colombia in the next few hours to face court in the United States, El Pais newspaper reported.