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21 November 2008 - Media release

Colombian fugitive arrested and deported from Panama within 24 hours of issue of INTERPOL alert

A Colombian man accused of defrauding thousands of investors through pyramid schemes was located, arrested and deported from Panama in less than 24 hours following intensive co-operation between national police and support from INTERPOL.

The INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) in Bogota requested the issue of a Blue Notice for David Murcia Guzmán, president of the DMG Group, on Wednesday, 19 November and he was taken into custody by Panamanian police later the same day. A Blue Notice helps countries locate an individual and collect additional information about their identity or activities in relation to a crime and provides a basis for police to work together in tracking down a criminal in another country.

Officers in the Command and Co-ordination Centre at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France assisted the NCBs in Bogota and Panama City to co-ordinate the swift police action required to locate and apprehend 28-year-old Murcia Guzmán.

“The speed and efficiency with which Colombia and Panama were able to carry out this arrest is a credit to the law enforcement officers and agencies in both countries and clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of inter-agency and cross-border co-operation,” said INTERPOL’s Executive Director for Police Services, Jean-Michel Louboutin.

“The arrest also demonstrates the range of tools that INTERPOL’s member countries can call upon and use when tracking fugitives, with our 24-hour Command and Co-ordination Centre also on standby to assist when needed.”

Colombian police are also investigating the possibility that the DMG Group may have served as a front for laundering drug money.  

Murcia Guzmán is the founder of the DMG Group, which had an estimated 400,000 clients and branches across South America. In addition to Murcia Guzmán, two managing directors of the company have also been arrested by Colombian police, with four more still wanted.