After 7 months of investigation, Colombia’s CTI, or bureau of investigation, complied sufficient evidence to order the capture of 8 suspects belonging to the “Los Calvos” gang (The Bald-heads). 7 of those 8 were taken into custody on October 30. They were charged with aggravated theft by IT device, and conspiracy.
The gang operated taxi services in La Macarena and Cerro de Montserrate in Colombia’s capital, areas frequented by foreign tourists. La Macarena is a historic neighborhood with many bohemian restaurants and nightlife options. El Cerro de Montserrat, or “Montserrat Hill” is a convent and tourist destination on a high bluff overlooking Bogotá. When tourists paid with credit or debit cards, the gang used electronic devices (skimmers) to steal their bank card information and then proceeded to empty the tourist’s bank accounts.
Gang members were captured with the help of ATM security cameras in Bogotá’s south side. All pled not guilty at their initial court hearings. Victims included Europeans, North Americans, Asians, and Mexicans.
At least 34 crimes were committed according to the Attorney General’s office, between November 2018 and April 2019, and the criminals were able to harvest over $500 million pesos in ill-gotten gains ($148,000 USD). Prosecutors say the culprits were captured with the criminal equipment enabling the crimes in their possession.
Those captured were:
- Jhonatan Camilo Parra Garzón, alias Chatarra (Junk)
- Santiago Vargas Pineda, alias Calvo (Bald)
- Cristian Camilo Martínez Arbeláez, alias Gordo (Fat)
- Cristian David González, alias Negro (Black)
- Bernardo Martínez Arredondo, alias Pato (Duck)
- Camilo Llanos Peña, alias Cachetes (Cheeks)
- Luis Fernando Jaramillo, alias Cuñado (Brother in law)