A total of 12 people (six in Colombia and six in Ecuador) are being prosecuted for the crime of drug trafficking. The fiscal instruction of the case will last 120 days. The National Transit Agency (ANT) counts 16 Colombian cooperatives that can operate in Ecuador. However, in this list of tour operators authorized by the Ministry of Transport of Colombia does not include the cooperative of Special Transporters of the East.
On August 14, 584 packages (579 kilograms) of cripy marijuana were found in the USA251 plate unit. Juan Camilo Ostos Romero, Deputy Minister of Transportation of Colombia, indicated that this bus line did not have the Single Document of Transportation of Tourism (DUTT), which allows the operation of special international passenger transport.
For that reason its radius of action was only for national operation. It arrived with adulterated documents that allowed them to cross border crossings, according to the file of the Judicial Unit of Calderón. This cooperative, whose headquarters are in the municipality of Chía-Cundinamarca, has 129 units and of them only 9 are buses and 5 buses, the rest are vans (47), minibuses (50) and double cab vans (18).
The HQ-RUNT platform registers José Luis Acevedo Mendoza as the owner of the vehicle, which is under investigation in that country. The Special Transporters of the East units were authorized for the provision of Public Service of Special Automotive Ground Transportation on December 29, 2011.
The arrests continue
until now, the Colombian authorities detained six people in Colombia. While six others are linked and ordered to preventive detention in Ecuador for the crime of illicit trafficking of scheduled substances subject to control.
The instruction in this case will last 120 days. Christian Andrés P., Claudia Ximena O., Martha Isabel G., Dennis Juliett B. and Jazmín Rocío M. were linked to the process last Friday, August 24, at the hearing regarding the tax investigation at the Criminal Judicial Unit of Calderón.
They are joined by Germán Andrés G, who is under preventive detention. His lawyer, Cristian Romero, presented the appeal to the measure of preventive detention that weighs on his client. They will request the review of the precautionary measure and the habeas corpus in the following weeks.
All were passengers of the automobile. Of the defendants, Christian Andrés P., driver of the bus, has been held since August 20 at the Los Olivos Traffic Offender Detention Center. While Deniss Juliett B. is incarcerated in the hospital of Calderón, and Martha Isabel G. in the hospital Eugenio Espejo. About Claudia Ximena O. her whereabouts are unknown. She would have invited the rest of the people to travel on a “free tour”. The authorities seek to identify if these people belong to the group “The merchants of the border.”
The Office of the Prosecutor of Colombia determined that this structure was dedicated to the wholesale traffic of narcotic substances, in different municipalities of Tolima, Huila and Valle de Cauca.
Their networks would have spread to Ecuador and Chile. Jesus David Santofimio, who is detained in Colombia, was the leader of the criminal structure. They also captured Juan Gabriel Céspedes, Lieutenant of Santofimio, who collaborated with the justice and has house arrest.
According to the Attorney General of the Colombian Nation, Néstor Humberto Martínez Neira, the bus that was injured was not the only one that arrived in Ecuador with narcotics. This year, Martínez said that three shipments were made, two of which initially arrived in Ecuador and then to Chile, the destination of the illegal shipments.
The third was frustrated by the accident on the Pifo-Papallacta highway, where 24 people died and another 24 were injured, including 4 Venezuelans, who boarded the bus on the highway. The Colombian prosecutor will request the extradition of the accused. The cooperative continues to operate in Colombia. (I)