Colombia and Ecuador Disrupt Human Trafficking Network

By Dialogo
August 15, 2013

Ecuadorean Police disrupted a human trafficking network during a joint operation with Colombian authorities in which 19 people were detained and 12 victims were rescued, reported the Ecuadorean Public Prosecutor’s Office.

“Six alleged gang members were captured in Quito, and 12 victims were rescued,” while 13 suspects were arrested in Colombia, Prosecutor General Galo Chiriboga told the press.

The prosecution did not specify the nationality of the detainees.

Milton Zárate, chief of the Judicial Police, said that the victims were from the Middle East, and entered South America through Brazil and Bolivia, then transferred to Peru and Ecuador, and finally were taken to Colombia and Central America before reaching their final destination: the United States.

“Investigators said that the defendants allegedly obtained $25,000 to $30,000 for transporting people to North America,” the Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.

Minister of Interior José Serrano said that “the investigation was initiated when a citizen reported this event to the rewards program that is being carried out by the Ecuadorean government.”

In May, three Indian citizens and three Ecuadoreans were detained for belonging to a network that illegally transported people from India and Sri Lanka to the United States.