Colombian authorities reported the dismantling of the criminal organization called “Los Mercaderes de la Frontera”, which is related to the shipment of more than half a ton of marijuana found on the bus that crashed in Ecuador on Tuesday, August 14.
According to the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office, this structure was dedicated to the wholesale traffic of narcotic substances, in different municipalities of Tolima, Huila and Valle de Cauca, and “would have extended its tentacles to countries in the south of the continent, particularly Ecuador and Chile.”
In raids carried out in Tolima, on Saturday, August 18, six alleged members of the criminal organization were captured, three with a court order and three in flagrante delicto. It is about Juan Gabriel C. G.; Jairo E. M .; Luis Alejandro E.M .; Ana Lucia S.M .; Lina Jimena P. C .; and Erika Tatiana N. T. The agents confiscated drugs, two firearms and ammunition, 18 cell phones, 4 tablets, 3 computers, seven million pesos in cash, account books related to the illicit business; elements for the production of the drug such as grameras and ovens, and a vehicle.
The band, which commercialized coca base (paste and powder) and cripy marijuana, “had a functional structure to perform the dosing and distribution of hallucinogens, which was collected in a clandestine laboratory located in the Warsaw district of Ibagué, capital Tolima, headquarters of its illicit activity, “says a statement.
The Office of the Prosecutor of Colombia indicated that the detainees will be charged with crimes of conspiracy to commit a crime; traffic, manufacture and carrying of narcotics; and illegal possession of weapons.
The investigation also allowed to clarify the poster of the “narcobuses”, since one of the detainees (Juan Gabriel CG) was, together with capos of Pereira, Cali and Caquetá, partner of this organization, said the Prosecutor’s Office “These drug traffickers are in these moments fully identified by the Attorney General’s Office, one of which was Cali alias “la Cucha”, who died in the accident, “he adds.
Juan Gabriel C. G. would have been the coordinator since July of the operation to send marijuana, loaded from Cali to Ecuador and whose final destination would be Chile, where it would triple its value. According to the investigations, the modality of mimicking drug shipments in buses that gave the appearance of a tourist service like the accident in Ecuador, was not accidental, explained the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office.
“This is a continuous criminal enterprise, because the information collected shows that in 2017 another vehicle would have already covered the same route from Cali (Valle del Cauca – Colombia) – Quito (Ecuador) to Chile.
Other two buses had also made the same route this year, with drugs inside the automotive, whose final destination would be the same, “he adds. According to the evidence collected, the bus accident on the Pifo-Papallacta road was loaded in the city of Cali, from where he began his trip to Ecuador.
Initially it would leave by Ipiales, but to the existing police controls, it was diverted by means of the route Popayán- Pitalito- San José de Isnos, Mocoa – Sucumbíos. In Isnos suffered a technical mishap.
During the whole trip it was guarded by a private vehicle bought in the city of Ibagué. The Office of the Prosecutor indicated that the evidence and technical evidence are being shared with the Office of the Attorney General of Ecuador, so that in this country some of the perpetrators of this drug trafficking can be prosecuted. (I)
El cartel de #Narcobuses “Los Mercaderes de la Frontera” que estaría relacionado con accidente de bus en #Ecuador y que fue desmantelado, se dedicada al tráfico de estupefacientes al por mayor en #Tolima, #Huila y #ValleDelCauca, y operaría también en #Ecuador y #Chile pic.twitter.com/55eMVasm5V— Fiscalía Colombia (@FiscaliaCol) 19 de agosto de 2018