Prison Inmates Use Smuggled Phones And Black-Magic To Extort Victims

Story By: Ana LacasaSub-EditorJoana Mihajlovska, Agency: Newsflash

This is the moment Colombian cops raid a prison and thwart an alleged extortion racket where guards smuggled phones in for inmates to blackmail victims and used witchcraft to bring about good fortune.

Policia Colombia/Newsflash

The operation dubbed ‘Demoledor’ (‘Demolition Man’) was carried out by the National Police in coordination with the National Penitentiary and Jail Institute (INPEC) and the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia, according to an official statement on 7th December.

Police conducted the operation in the Colombian capital Bogota and 19 other departments in the country, carrying out raids in 24 penitentiaries.

Five INPEC security guards and two other suspects were arrested on suspicion of belonging to a criminal gang that smuggled SIM cards, mobile devices, and other objects into prisons.

Policia Colombia/Newsflash

The suspects would sell the devices to inmates for prices varying between COP 200,000 and 500,000 (GBP 42 and 107) depending on what was being sold.

The prisoners would then use the smuggled goods to call citizens and blackmail them into giving them money by threatening to cause harm to their families or businesses if they refused to pay up.

The video shows the moment police appear at a prison and detain several suspects before the video cuts to show officers raiding a cell where a figurine of two green goblins is seen.

Policia Colombia/Newsflash

According to the statement, inmates would place banknotes or coins on the goblins for good luck before making the phone calls.

The police said they also found other black magic “materials” and altars.

Fernando Murillo, director of the National Police Unified Action Group for Liberty (GAULA), said in a press statement obtained by Newsflash that there were other goblin statues with banknotes as well as unspecified witchcraft material found in the raids.

Policia Colombia/Newsflash

He added: “They used witchcraft before making the calls. They pretended to be part of a criminal gang and put money on the goblin figurines and prayed for the blackmail to work well.”

The official statement added the prisoners also used Bluetooth speakers to make it seem as though their calls were coming from airports or areas with ambulance and police sirens.

In total, the authorities found 423 mobile phones, 900 SIM cards, eight micro SD cards, seven USBs, 191 phone chargers, and 549 blades.

Policia Colombia/Newsflash

The alleged use of black magic and Bluetooth speakers in the blackmailing operations was reported to have occurred in a prison known as ‘Picota’ in Bogota.

Murillo said the criminals used loudspeakers before claiming to have kidnapped loved ones to make the victims believe they were calling from airports, giving them a stronger sense of urgency.

Authorities have not ruled out any further arrests as they suspect more prison guards were involved in the smuggling of the devices.

The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.

Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.