The startling story of an Uber driver who ends up leading a dangerous criminal gang that kidnaps foreigners

“I wanted to know how the boy is, I can’t go, there are five more boys, but there was a little problem during the trip, so please understand me. Not explained to you over a cell phone.” The conversation is part of the evidence authorities have against Juan Camilo Rubio Nieto, the first Colombian to be deported for migrant smuggling and who started the business as an Uber driver.

The character, investigators say, was part of one of the largest migrant smuggling networks abroad and was dedicated to reaping economic benefits by exploiting irregular foreigners who used Colombia as a transit route to reach migrants.

Their victims are usually Nepalese, Bangladeshi, Africans and Muslims who felt that there was no future in the places of their birth, so they decided to take suitcases with what they needed to embark on an uncertain journey and expose themselves and their lives. Lovers with the sole purpose of achieving the American Dream.

After grueling months of travel from their countries of origin, where they were forced to cross continents, follow trails and hop from one bus to another, the migrants arrived in Ecuador, where they already had connections with an organization that included Rubio. Javier Nieto had all the logistics to bring them into Colombia through illegal routes.

In nationwide raids and in Ecuador, police from both countries seized 31 people who were part of one of the largest migrant smuggling rings, led by an African and a Colombian who fled to Chile.

Javier said the officials charged him between $5,000 and $7,000 for transportation, lodging and food and services, including taking them across the Ecuadorian border to Uraba. to Panama by the perilous Darien Gap.

In one of Javier’s conversations with one of the network’s operators, Semana had approached, he is heard saying to his partner: “Calm down, dad, don’t worry about the day’s work, don’t worry, we’ll arrange it, the main thing is that you’re good, dad, because they can stay, the main thing is that you” OK.”

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The audio represents a moment when the police discovered the mobilization of migrants and they had to abandon the foreigners to their fate. In another audio obtained by SEMANA, Javier and Africano, the leader of the captured organization, speak. Both mention that they have not been paid any money.

African: This man, I don’t know what happened.

Camilo: He did not send them.

AE: No, nothing.

c.: Pure story.

AE: I say, I say. Also, if you don’t send me the whole thing, we can’t send it, because, look, without money.

This other audio testified that Africano and Xavier’s organizations irregularly moved about 1,500 migrants across national borders during a police investigation.

Ana (Network Member): hello

Camilo (Javier) how are you

c.: Hi Anita, how are you? Are you busy?

TO.: No, father, be quiet, tell me.

C.: It seems there was a little problem there on the trip, so they had to leave them there on the way, you understand me, so don’t explain to you on the cell phone.

TO.: Yes, yes, yes, and then, well, I didn’t give him breakfast because you asked him for a lot of fruit, and no, I imagine he’ll still have it. The door is just closed.

c.: Well, let’s buy him more fruit. We buy him bananas, apples, mangoes and milk.

        Along with the follow-ups, the police obtained evidence of how irregular migrants were loaded into private vehicles, collected by the organization Javier y el Africo in Colombia.
Along with the follow-ups, the police obtained evidence of how irregular migrants were loaded into private vehicles, collected by the organization Javier y el Africo in Colombia.

In another line of dialogue, Javier and Ana talk about sheltering immigrants:

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Camilo: So I will take a room for yesterday and today in a short time. What time was he admitted yesterday?

Ana: At two o’clock in the afternoon.

c.: In other words, I owe him what happened at two o’clock yesterday and what happened at two o’clock tomorrow. That is 100,000 pesos.

To move large numbers of migrants without problems through tracks or illegal crossings such as the Ecuadorian border or the Ureba region, the network had to pay the Clan del Golfo, which is negotiating with the government for total peace. 150 to 200 dollars per foreigner.

“Javier was in charge of coordinating the leaders of each department in the main cities of Ipiales, Cali, Medellin and Urabá,” a police investigator told SEMANA. Those ideas included finding transportation, food and shelter, and raising money for all the logistics, he said.

In order to demonstrate the role of Javier or Camilo before the judge, the prosecutor’s office presented this other intervention, in which he talks with other members of the network about the “Trastio” logistics of immigrants: “I’m trying to do everything possible to pass now. After a while, take the money from the hotel yesterday and today, Because yesterday and today happened, yes or no, what belongs to the other two boys?

the beginning

35-year-old Javier Camilo Rubio, according to the investigation, was a humble driver of a popular utility that provides public transportation services before becoming one of the most important people in the network. In the middle of his daily work as a driver, he meets the alias El Africano, who begins to transfer immigrants without knowing what he is doing, but everything points to the fact that over time he has developed a close trust. Foreigners. , revealed in this other audio obtained by SEMANA

Investigators say Camilo Rubio ran one of the nation’s largest migrant smuggling networks.
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Camilo: What happened, old doll?

African: Everything is good. Did both come?

c.: Yes, father, they have arrived, now, half an hour ago, they have to go there, to bring them food, they have already left it there, the other two are leaving at 11 p.m.

AE: Carlos and the other one, right?

C: Yes, first come first served.

AE: Yes.

c.: They leave at 11 pm.

AE: ok

After receiving evidence against the criminal structure, Colombian and Ecuadorian authorities simultaneously arrested 31 people in Ibeales, Basto, Cali, Medellin, Turbo, Barranquilla, Cucuta and Ecuador. However, Camilo or Javier flew away, and his destination was known to be Chile.

Data on the Colombian’s movements in the southern country were coordinated by Interpol to issue a Blue Circular and trace his whereabouts.. With a request in the databases of 195 countries, the International Bureau of Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and Djinn managed to hand Juan Camilo Rubio Nieto over to Colombia to face charges of migrant smuggling and conspiracy. to commit a crime

“Once the alias Javier is caught, a strong message is sent to Colombian criminals who seek to avoid Colombian authorities in other countries. “We are strengthening our work to prosecute criminal organizations that profit from the smuggling of migrants,” said DG Director General Olga Salazar.

While the network profits from this human drama, authorities are investigating whether the organization is responsible for the deaths of ten children and nine adults who were taken to the banks and died trying to find a better future.

Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

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