Police officers in Soacha, Cundinamarca, Colombia, have been arrested for attempting to hide evidence of extortion by trying to swallow the money they received in the estimated scam. The two officers were alleged to have attempted to extort money from a couple of traders. When the victim did not have the requested two million pesos, the officers agreed to accept half that amount delivered in installments.
When the victim’s wife protested the extortion attempt, the officers were surprised and one of them attempted to hide the evidence by trying to swallow a bundle of eight fifty thousand peso billets and one hundred thousand peso billet.
The police previously arrived on the scene to apprehend the shakedown, heard the victim’s protests and moved in to arrest the two police officers. They were charged with aggravated extortion and kidnapping. A video capturing the incident and the evidence has been made available to prosecutors.
The two officers will face possible expulsion from the police force as well as imprisonment of up to thirty years for their rejected charges. In addition to the criminal proceedings, the medical evidence will be closely monitored to determine whether or not the officers did indeed swallow the bills.
It is an alarming incident of corruption within law enforcement in Colombia, which highlights the serious need to prosecute those trying to take advantage of the power of their position. While a judge has ordered a guarantee of security for the two officers, the seriousness of the alleged crimes is hard to ignore. This incident is a grave reminder of the need for increased oversight of police actions.