Colombian Authorities Bust Underground Lottery Operation, Make 12 Arrests

Posted on: April 6, 2022, 10:07h.

Final up to date on: April 6, 2022, 10:27h.

This week, police in Colombia broke up a large operation dealing in fraudulent lotteries and raffles. The exercise prolonged throughout a number of areas within the nation, with police making quite a few arrests.

Illegal lottery tickets
Tickets for an unlawful lottery in Colombia. The exercise is an ongoing downside legislation enforcement is attempting to sort out. (Picture: Common Information)

The Colombian operation was devoted to the fabrication, distribution, and sale of pretend lottery and raffle tickets. Legislation enforcement shut it down this week, making quite a few arrests and seizing homes and different property following an 18-month investigation.

The scale of the operation was substantial sufficient that the investigation will seemingly proceed to uncover extra surprises. Thus far, police have implicated a dozen people for his or her participation.

Unlawful Lottery Meets its Demise

Police have dealt a major blow to an unlawful lottery operation in Antioquia. They captured 12 folks, together with one of many ringleaders, and seized property that, in line with investigations, have been a part of the irregular sale of raffles in 4 subregions of Antioquia.

A type of police arrested was a person recognized solely as Mauricio. He’s a 47-year-old lithographer who was in command of printing and distributing “checkbooks” of lottery tickets. The printing befell in Medellín, and the group then distributed them all through the Aburrá Valley and to the municipalities of San Jerónimo, Caucasia, Andes, and Betania.

The commander of the Antioquia Police, Colonel Daniel Mazo Cardona, informed native media that legislation enforcement introduced search warrants to 13 properties, arresting 12 people. Police additionally seized 36 property, together with actual property, at the side of the searches, reportedly with a complete worth of round COP17 billion (US$4.52 million). As well as, police confiscated COP$167 million (US$44,605) in money.

Based on the colonel, in Medellín, the group distributed the checkbooks within the heart of the town, whereas within the different municipalities, it focused on the city areas. This generated income losses of hundreds of thousands of pesos for Antioquia, in addition to its municipalities.

Income from the sale of respectable lotteries and raffles goes to the well being system. Nonetheless, the group as a substitute used its ill-gotten funds to splurge on luxurious items, together with high-end properties in Las Palmas in Medellín, the capital of Antioquia. “They used this cash to complement themselves and purchase useful properties,” Mazo added.

In Antioquia, the lottery and raffle tickets are produced digitally to keep away from the falsification of the checkbooks. This additionally helps assure the legality of the raffles. The Medellín Lottery oversees the authorized lottery operations. Final yr, by way of playing, it allotted COP$136 billion (US$36.24 million) to the well being sector.

Not the First Unlawful Lottery Op to Fall

This was a major blow to unlawful lottery operations in Colombia, however it was solely the most recent. On September 2, 2020, police captured what legislation enforcement dubbed on the time the “unlawful lottery czar” in Bogotá. That police motion additionally led to the arrest of a further 12 people. They allegedly defrauded hundreds of victims, in addition to Colombia’s well being system, with false lottery tickets.

In that operation, the Area Extinction and Cash Laundering Unit of the Prosecutor’s Workplace performed an initiative to establish, find, and seize the properties that have been within the identify of this czar in Bogotá. It additionally led to the invention of the names of the entrance males who lent their names to the acquisition of the properties allegedly acquired by way of the criminal activity.

That group reportedly earned anyplace from COP180 million to COP680 million (US$47,970 to $181,220) daily for 2 years.

In October of final yr, police arrested one other 12 for his or her unlawful lottery operations. In all the instances, the accused confronted or face jail sentences of between six and eight years.

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