Colombian gang brought down in Ankara after stealing $1 million diamond
Fevzi Kızılkoyun – ANKARA
The gang of five people, including one woman, reportedly arrived in Turkey on tourist visas two months ago.
They then staged a heist in the Marmara province of Düzce at 11 p.m. on Nov. 3, stealing a bag filled with diamonds worth $1 million and $25,000 in cash from a vehicle that they had been monitoring.
Ankara police subsequently formed a special team to capture them after the gang was detected entering the capital.
Photographs and details of the suspects’ IDs were shared via INTERPOL, and police also revealed that the gang had staged similar heists in Istanbul and the Central Anatolian province of Konya.
The suspects were identified after examination of 300 hours of surveillance, security and traffic camera footage from 20 different spots in Ankara, with police teams tracking them down to an address in a rented house in Ankara’s Yenimahalle district.
Police raided the house on Nov. 11, detaining Colombian citizens identified as Liliana Gomes Osma, German Bernal Huertas, Ernesto Mesa and Julian Zabata Martinez.
Police seized the diamonds stolen by the gang, while the detained suspects gave their testimonies at the police headquarters.
The other suspected gang member, Jose Guillermo Rodriguez Callesjas, could not be found at the Ankara address and a search for him is still ongoing.
Police have also reportedly detected that the suspects contacted human traffickers in order to flee from Turkey and smuggle the diamonds.