Director of the COI Ramírez Payares said that the operations are to continue in all areas of the country in order to meet the organisation’s goals for the year.
“We will continue working, using different strategies to be able to meet the stipulated goal in terms of indicators for this 2023, but at the rate I intend, we will be able to exceed and reach historic seizure figures,” he said.
Payares said that the operations impacted a number of municipalities. These included Lorica in the Córdoba department, as well as Roldanillo and Sevilla in Valle del Cauca. The COI conducted the operations in partnership with local police and representatives of the courts.
The investigators found that that the sites raided owed Col$1.79bn ($400,000/ £330,000/ €380,000) in unpaid machine gaming taxes. The unlicensed operations also owed $382.8m in taxes for their illegal bingo operations.
The premises who conducted the unlicensed games of chance will be required to pay the $2.17bn total, which is ultimately destined for the Colombian health system.
“From Coljuegos, we call for all those who today operate games of luck and chance illegally, to protect themselves under the regulatory guidelines,” said Payares. “The objective of these operations is to seek legality.”
Coljuegos will store and transport the confiscated machines prior to their subsequent destruction.