110 people have been arrested who were linked to this criminal organization that mainly uses fraud, money laundering and coercion.
The Government of El Salvador detailed the operation it undertook against an international structure, with members with Colombian nationality, which would be linked to the so-called ‘drop by drop’ extortion credits.
So far, 110 people have been arrested who were linked to this transnational criminal organization that mainly uses scams, money laundering and coercion.
In a trill, the Salvadoran president, Nayib Bukele, wrote that although he considers Colombians “brothers,” “in every society, there is always a small percentage that wants to take advantage of others.”
“Some of them have come to commit crimes in our country. These people will have to face the Salvadoran Justice, whoever claims, “she pointed out.
Colombians are our brothers, but as in any society, there is always a small percentage that wants to take advantage of others; Some of them have come to commit crimes in our country. Those people will have to face Salvadoran justice, whoever claims it. https://t.co/RgpYGG4DNp
— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) July 17, 2023
In his interaction, he left open an invitation for the citizens of the South American country to visit El Salvador “to vacation, invest, work or emigrate.”
“Here you will have legal security, political stability and physical security for you and your loved ones,” he added. And he issued a warning: “But criminals, drug traffickers, fraudsters and some of the so-called ‘peace managers’, it is better that they do not come to our country to look for problemsbecause our prisons are waiting for you”.
In a joint conference between the Attorney General of El Salvador, Rodolfo Delgado, and the Minister of Justice and Public Security, Gustavo Villatoro, it was reported about a complex transnational criminal organization structure that carries out scams, money laundering, coercion and computer scams .
As explained by the head of the prosecuting entity, these people offered credits with 20% interest and “subsequently made collection routes to the people who fell for their tricks”.
The disbursements were requested “through threats and outrages“and” when a victim could not pay the loan, they usurped their identity, obtained their bank accounts and moved the money abroad, “he explained.
Three thousand complaints
The Prosecutor’s Office reported that it has received 3,000 complaintsmainly due to scams and computer scams, which have been allegedly committed by people of Colombian nationality who belong to these criminal networks.
According to the data that is handled, from 2021 until now remittances have been made to Colombia for a figure of more than 20 million dollars.
72 hour deadline
The head of Justice affirmed that there are more than four hundred people of Colombian nationality who are in El Salvador irregularly and who allegedly “are carrying out activities for this structure of money laundering and international drug trafficking cartels.”
“They have 72 hours to leave this country or obviously they will be submitted to the Salvadoran Justice,” he warned.
Villatoro affirmed that the Justice bodies have “all the evidence” found in the raids to prosecute those involved in these criminal activities.
“It has become clear that we are facing an emerging transnational criminal organization in our country and we are going to use all the tools we have to neutralize and eliminate this new threat“, he emphasized.
What are ‘drop by drop’ credits?
The Minister of Justice recalled that the ‘drop drop’ credit structures arose in the late 90’s within the Colombian drug cartels.
This type of extortion loan is a modality that exists in the South American country for those who cannot access bank financing.
The trap of these credits is that the debtors end up paying monthly interest ranging from 10 to 30%, which is classified as a crime in the Penal Code. Non-payment can generate from threats to exploitation, extortion and murders.
Faced with this problem that has accumulated decades, the Colombian president proposed last October to establish a cooperative credit system, which would operate publicly.
Last April, the launch of the credit inclusion program called CREO was announced, in alliance with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to grant loans in popular rural and urban areas.