Colombia: Human Trafficking Ring Busted

Published: 15 August 2013


Colombian authorities arrested 12 suspects in an international human trafficking ring, the Colombian Attorney General's office announced Tuesday. Nine undocumented migrants were rescued.

The smugglers planned to transport the migrants – five from Nepal and four from Bangladesh – to Panama and then the United States, according to Indian newspaper Business Standard. They have been handed over to immigration authorities, the AG's office added.

A multiagency task force including the AG's office, the National Police, and the navy  worked on the case. The Colombian Transnational Crime Group determined that two African citizens living in Colombia were the masterminds. Authorities arrested six additional suspects in Ecuador connected with the case.

Investigations revealed that the ring trafficked people from Africa and Asia through Ecuador and Venezuela. Migrants were sent to the United States.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime reported that human trafficking in Colombia is getting worse. The crime is frequently unreported and victims are often minors. Organized crime focused website InSight Crime reports that Colombia has made efforts to secure borders against human trafficking, however domestic trafficking has prospered.