Colombia police hero arrested in spying ring probe

September 12, 2018 GMT

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — One of Colombia’s most-decorated police officers has been arrested for his alleged involvement in a criminal ring that illegally intercepted the private communications of prominent politicians and business leaders.

Gen. Humberto Guatibonza led an anti-kidnapping police unit and headed Bogota’s police until he retired in 2016. He was arrested Wednesday on six charges including criminal conspiracy.

Three other retired officials had already been arrested. Prosecutors maintain that the group sold information obtained from illegally hacking into private communications. Among its clients were major companies and politicians looking to spy on unions or potential rivals.


Discovery of the criminal gang comes nearly a decade after the dismantling of another clandestine spy network comprised of corrupt intelligence officials who spied on journalists, supreme court magistrates and critics of former President Alvaro Uribe.