Colombian National Police began enforcing President’s Juan Manuel Santos new package of Columbian gambling laws called ‘Citizen Security Policy for Prosperity’ which were enacted last Friday.
According to the Director of Public Safety Police, General José Roberto Leon Riaño, four day long country-wide coordinated raids involving a total of 10,000 police officers were carried out in the 32 largest cities in Columbia. Police raided thousands of small gambling establishments, primarily focusing on unlicensed slot machines parlors in Columbia.
A total of 1,500 slot machines were confiscated either for failed to pay Columbian gambling taxes, tampering with the payout structure, or failure to pay import taxes on the slot machine. The government claims that the owners of these 1500 machine have not paid a total of 3 billion pesos in taxes to the Columbian health care system.
A total of 70 slot gambling establishments were closed with a total of 112 illegal slot operators detained along with 24 more arrested on outstanding warrants. Also detained were 94 minors caught loitering in those same 70 Columbian slot parlors very late at night.
The minors were junior member of gangs who extorted some of the illegal gaming establishments for up to 10,000 pesos per day. The minors were present to count the total number of Columbia gamblers visiting each night to ensure that adequate protection money was paid to the gangs.
According to online gambling news in Columbia, those 70 Columbian gambling establishments yielded 7700 doses of powerful hallucinogenic drugs, crack cocaine, methamphetamines and angel dust.
Police confiscated 3350 knives and machetes, 35 pistols and submachine guns and 20 million pesos in cash.
Such statistics are sure to encourage foreigners on holiday to visit a Columbian slot machine parlor with their tour group.
In Bogotá alone, police raided 869 slot parlors, closing down 12, while arresting 14 people and seizing 118 unlicensed slot machines. A number of illegal online casinos in Columbia were reported to have been discovered and closed as well.
During the briefing, General Riaño briefly spoke about the activities of the Anti-Kidnapping and Extortion Management (GAULA) agents who took down a number of micro-extortion gangs during the four days of police raids.
These gangs preyed on the owners and managers of illegal slot parlors who were not under the protection of organized crime by extorting bribes of 5,000-10,000 pesos daily under threats of violence.