From Bogota to Bengaluru: How a Colombian gang hatched, executed multiple burglaries

The five-member gang from Colombia allegedly carried out five high profile burglaries including an attempt on the former Karnataka Chief Secretary’s home.
From Bogota to Bengaluru: How a Colombian gang hatched, executed multiple burglaries
From Bogota to Bengaluru: How a Colombian gang hatched, executed multiple burglaries
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Five months ago, five Colombian nationals met at a restaurant in Mexico and hatched a plan to carry out burglaries halfway across the world – in India. Their target was Bengaluru, a city familiar to three of them, who had allegedly carried out burglaries here in the past.  

After carrying out five high-profile burglaries including an attempt on the home of former Karnataka Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee, the Bengaluru police managed to track down and arrest the five-member gang using CCTV footage. In a span of a month, the gang allegedly managed to steal jewellery and other valuables worth Rs 80 lakh. As first reported by Indian Express, they would allegedly melt the jewellery to make gold bars before selling it.     

Those arrested are Jose Eduardo Arivalo Burbano (40), Gustavo Adolpho Jaramillo Giraldo (47), Yair Alberto Sanchez alias Rozer Smith Duarte (45), Eduardo Alexis Garcia Peramo (38) and his girlfriend Kimberly Guiterrez (30).   

Describing their modus operandi, sources told TNM that the gang bought vehicles from a used-car showroom and recced residential areas to identify the homes they were going to target.

“They stuck to one plan for all burglaries. Kimberly, who is Peramo’s girlfriend, would ring the doorbell. She would alert the others after confirming that no one was at home through her walkie talkie, which Sanchez had bought in Mexico. Burbano, Giraldo and Peramo would use crowbars, hammers and lock picking tools to break-in while Sanchez would be ready with the get-away vehicle,” the source added.

The gang had bought three second-hand cars to carry out the series of crimes. Once done with the heist, they would sell the car on e-commerce site OLX, and buy a new vehicle for the next burglary, said the source.  

According to the South Division Police in Bengaluru, the gang leader, Jose Burbano and Gustavo Giraldo, are the suspects in the burglary of the former Srinivaspura MLA Venkatashiva Reddy’s residence in 2016. The burglars had made away with Rs 40 lakh worth of jewellery from Reddy’s home.

Having managed to loot the home of the MLA and managing to flee easily from the country, they decided to strike again.

According to the police, Burbano owns a clothing store in Colombia’s Bogota and is said to have served a five-month-jail term possession of illegal weapons. He entered India via Nepal. Having travelled from Mexico to Kathmandu, Burbano then landed in New Delhi in May.

Burbano’s partner and confidante, Giraldo, is said to have served a 16-year-jail term in Bogota between 1996 and 2012 for murdering the son of a police officer and also a college student. He arrived in India along with Burbano in May.

Yair Sanchez, who was deported to Colombia from the United States thrice – in 2009, 2012 and 2015, is believed to have entered India on a fake American passport. Sanchez allegedly bought the walkie-talkies for the gang to communicate while carrying out the burglaries. “Tracking cell phones is easy but walkie-talkies are difficult. They knew how to manipulate technology to get away with the crimes they committed. We believe that they were involved in multiple burglaries since June and have stolen items worth Rs 80 lakh,” a senior police officer said.

Police say that Sanchez is the only one who can speak English and it was after interrogating him that they were able to gather details about the other gang members.

According to the investigators, Sanchez lived in New York until he completed high school and had entered the US illegally from Medellin in Colombia. He was charged with living illegally in the US.

Police say that Eduardo Alexis Garcia Peramo, who is also a resident of Bogota, is also a suspect in another jewellery heist in 2010. He is believed to be a part of the Colombian Pedro gang, which stole jewellery worth Rs 1.2 crore worth of jewellery from Hotel Pride in Bengaluru in 2010. In March that year, Peramo escaped from India.

He arrived in Mumbai via Germany along with his girlfriend Kimberly and Sanchez. The three, who came on tourist visas, arrived in Bengaluru in June.  

CCTV footage:


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