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This is how the gang operated that posed as officials of the US Embassy and offered travel permits for Q70,000

The Public Ministry (MP), reported this Wednesday, August 31, that the Prosecutor’s Office against Illicit Trafficking of Migrants, together with the Special Investigation Unit, attached to the General Subdirectorate of Criminal Investigation of the National Civil Police (PNC), carried out an operation this Wednesday in various areas of Guatemala City, and carried out four raids, inspections, searches and seizure of evidence in buildings located in zones 10 and 18 of the capital, as well as in Ciudad Quetzal, San Juan Sacatepéquez.

They added that this was with the objective of making four arrest warrants effective against a group of people who were dedicated to offering, selling and falsifying visas to enter the United States of America.

The report mentions that on August 20, 2022, inside the La Aurora International Airport, a person of Guatemalan nationality provided an airline with a passport which had a false visa to travel to the United States.

According to the MP, at the time of the corresponding verification it was determined that the passport did not correspond to that person and that the visa stamped on it had been falsified.

This Guatemalan who was carrying the forged document was captured and made available to the courts of justice and linked to criminal proceedings for his alleged participation in the crime of using forged documents.

They pretended to be embassy officials

The MP’s statement indicates that the Prosecutor’s Office against Illicit Trafficking of Migrants carried out a 10-day investigation, collected testimonial statements, coordinated police follow-ups and determined that a group of people was offering visas to travel to the United States of America in exchange for of payments that ranged in the amount of Q70 thousand for each person.

They added that these people would meet potential victims in restaurants and if they finally agreed to pay for the visas, they would ask them to make the payments through bank deposits.

The MP statement added that some of the accused even presented themselves as representatives of the Embassy of the United States and showed their victims falsified credentials that accredited them as workers of that diplomatic representation.

They also presented people with illegitimate documents, which they had to sign to continue with the procedures for obtaining a tourist visa.

“The people involved received bank deposits in their name in their personal accounts, using trickery or deception to defraud the assets of the victims, making them falsely believe that they had the mechanisms for managing and obtaining visas at the Embassy of the United States”, reads in the MP’s statement.

It adds that the scammers took the victims to a building located near the diplomatic headquarters of the United States, located in zone 10 of Guatemala City, where a business operates, and which was raided by the Prosecutor’s Office against Illicit Traffic of Migrants, with the support of the police force, with the task of collecting relevant evidence to continue with the investigation of the facts.

Caught

The MP also confirmed the capture of Frisler Moisés Sánchez Escobar, who was dedicated to recruiting victims, receiving payments in his bank account, as well as delivering documents with false visas.

He points out that three arrest warrants are still pending and that they are all accused of illegal trafficking of Guatemalans, laundering of money or other assets and their own fraud.

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