What they built over six years (during the Prosecutor’s Office investigation) was a criminal enterprise. Angie Daniela Ardila Gómez and her mother María Rubiela Gómez Colmenaresdistributing fake letters The Ministry of Finance allegedly stole more than 2,000 million pesos from 1,500 Bogota residents by inventing tax collections and fake seizure orders.
The two women, residents of a San Francisco neighborhood in the town of Ciudad Bolivar, would have gained access to the city’s taxpayer databases that would have allowed them to know who owned property in their names and who did not; But what was even more serious was this: He said that citizens of the capital managed to access sensitive information such as the history of their tax debts.
According to prosecution investigations, Angie Daniela Ardila, a lawyer by profession, is expected to have used her legal knowledge to gain access to privileged information and obtain key input to establish the criminal network. However, how the alleged criminal couple gained access to their victims’ financial databases is still the subject of investigation.
A source with knowledge of the case noted that the possibility that it was leaked through a “mole” at an institution that would provide the data has not been ruled out, and that the two women may even have purchased the database containing the victims’ information. Using documents and an ‘army of collaborators’, they would track down the records of taxpayers in debt, one by one, through publicly available information.
Suspicions among investigators and evidence from materials collected during the years of investigation regarding the criminal organization, in addition to the lack of clarity in the way in which they managed to gain access to the databases, allowed the authorities to conclude that there would be a larger criminal network that was not led by just two women.
The criminal network was so well established that there was an “arsenal” of letter distributors who were paid 600 pesos for each document they delivered; In addition, they set up a call center to take calls and a network of shipping points to receive the money they jointly received.
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The mother-daughter formula for the scam was simple. After gaining access to the database, they began to organize communications based on an actual letter model from the district administration, but this had nothing to do with the collection of contributions; Once this was done, they hired the second link in the criminal chain: delivery men.
Paid 600 pesos for each letter distributed, these men and women spread out in neighborhoods of tiers 1, 2, and 3 in the south and southwest of the city; It is estimated that at least 100 neighborhoods are affected. According to the testimony of an investigator, there are also indications that this fraudulent nature has reached some neighborhoods in the north of the city, where they managed to rob a prominent lawyer for 16 million pesos.
“Very convincing. The citizen, who was about to fall into the fraudsters’ network, said, “They knew we had debts, and this means they had access to some Treasury platforms.”.
This citizen received a letter through a post office, although he had no specific recipient, with a barcode and a so-called chip corresponding to his property, and a fine of 6,500,000 if he did not pay his taxes.
However, the delivery of collection letters was not the end of the operation. After the victim received them, they had to wait for them to take the bait and call the phone numbers in the letter. There, they were approached by call center “agents” trained by the alleged criminal’s family to persuade, threaten, and ensure millionaire payments were made.
Criminals managed to get voters to deposit their money into the accounts of the alleged thieves through fictitious collection houses and so-called money transfer companies, under the threat that they would “take their assets.” Fees ranged from 500,000 pesos to 20 million pesos, according to the Ministry of Finance.
After all, researchers state that the criminals’ technique is never to contact the victims, on the contrary, the victims always reach the perpetrator alone, by following a series of clues they leave, such as a letter. door to door.
Although the figures of official reports on such frauds are not alarming and the Ministry of Finance has an official number of cases of only 180 in the last 6 years, the fact is that there are incomplete records of citizens who did not report or paid. and never finding out that they were defrauded is a very high rate, and it has not been possible to determine the exact number of victims of these extortionists, as the authorities stated.
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In his name, The prosecutor’s office stated that the investigation into this case is still open and that it is believed that there is a criminal network behind the two women in which more leaders may be involved.
Treasury Secretary Juan Mauricio Ramírez explained that the organization does not allow payments to third parties or through other means than through the official website, virtual office or directly through the facilities of the Secretariat. “We have a guide on our page where you can consult the pending obligations for all periods. There they can also deposit or download for payment at authorized banks. Don’t trust fake calls, the only access channels are direct ones“, He pointed out.
ELTIEMPO FROM THE EDITOR
I am Bret Jackson, a professional journalist and author for Gadget Onus, where I specialize in writing about the gaming industry. With over 6 years of experience in my field, I have built up an extensive portfolio that ranges from reviews to interviews with top figures within the industry. My work has been featured on various news sites, providing readers with insightful analysis regarding the current state of gaming culture.