Chilean police make 5,000 arrests in 24 hours in ‘historic’ raids

SANTIAGO – Nearly 5,000 suspected criminals were taken into custody after a massive raid by Chile police in the course of 24 hours over the weekend, according to the Crime Prevention Unit.

A total of 4,891 arrests were made Friday and early Saturday in an effort to set the number of outstanding warrants back to zero. Approximately 40 percent of those apprehended were from the capital city, Santiago. More than 1,700 were the subjects of outstanding arrest warrants.

About 238 detainees were found violating gun laws and over 300 were suspected of robbery. The operation involved 900 infractions and 8,900 preventive controls.

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The 400 officers employed for the operation confiscated a total of 244 firearms; seized 157,000 kilos of drugs – mostly marijuana – and returned 74 stolen vehicles.

“This is a historic moment and shows the effect of having police officers present in the street, removing a number of criminals outside our communities, in our country,” said Katherine Martorell, the under secretary for Crime Prevention.

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The majority of the arrests pertained to alcohol or auto-related infractions, Martorell added.