This Sunday morning, the delegate against Organized Crime of the Attorney General’s Office, Javier García Trochez, confirmed that 7 people accused of being part of a network dedicated to falsifying documents to obtain visas and permits to guarantee their permanence in the country were captured.
Among those captured, according to García, are “two officials from the Foreign Ministry (…) who would have advised the organization and in some cases processed visas.”
The Prosecutor’s Office indicates that Giovanny Angulo Ariza worked as an assistant to the diplomatic mission at the Colombian consulate in Barinas (Venezuela). While Javier Mauricio Carrasco Ceballos was a visa officer at the northern headquarters of the Foreign Ministry, in Bogotá.
García said that the operation was carried out in coordination with Migration Colombia and troops of the National Army, carrying out the arrests in Bogotá and Los Patios, Norte de Santander.
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In the midst of the raids, five computers were seized, 3,117 dollars, 1,025 euros, passports, immigration cards and bank statements.
The accusing body points out that the investigation focuses on 12 facts, based on the evidence collected that shows that those captured, since 2016, facilitated the delivery of visas to Chinese citizens, Cuba, Italy, France and Germany.
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The others captured were identified as: Harvey Castellanos Briceño, worker at a notary’s office in Bogotá; Miguel Ángel Perico Garzón, alleged forger; and Triny Lamadrid Blanco, José Eleazar Contreras Lizarazo and Omar Iván Gutiérrez Echeverría, who worked as processing agents.
The Prosecutor’s Office points out that those involved apparently obtained false documents such as bank statements, civil registries, citizenship cards, marriage certificates and Chamber of Commerce certificates, among others.
“These papers, presumably, were presented to manage the issuance of investor, worker, marriage or student visas to foreigners who did not meet the requirements of the law,” says the Prosecutor’s Office.
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Those captured were accused of crimes (according to the role of each one) of: Conspiracy to commit a crime, prevarication by action, procedural fraud, obtaining a false public document, material falsehood in a private document, advice and other illegal actions; and bribery for giving or offering.
The defendants did not accept the charges, but a guarantee control judge sent five of them to serve a security measure in a prison; while Harvey Castellanos Briceño and José Eleazar Contreras Lizarazo, due to health problems, will remain deprived of their liberty in their places of residence.
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