The procedures have been carried out since last night within the framework of an extensive investigation that covers points in the city and the province of Buenos Aires; it is suspected that the members of the organization would engage in recruiting people for various purposes, including human trafficking
Since Friday night, the Argentine Federal Police (PFA) has carried out a mega-operation against an important criminal sect, which includes raids both in the city and in the province of Buenos Aires. The procedures, which this morning focused on the Villa Crespo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, seek to disrupt the criminal organization, investigated for the use of different schemes to capture people for various purposes, including human trafficking.
Police sources informed LA NACION that the raids began last night on the Ecuador dock, between Rivadavia and Mitre avenues, where a large number of PFA personnel were observed in the framework of the procedure led by the Human Trafficking Department. “In the place they concentrated for the purpose of looking for witnesses”, detailed the spokespersons and confirmed that due to the investigation, in which the Federal Court No. 4 of Ariel Lijo intervenes, at least 50 raids were planned in different points of the city and the province of Buenos Aires.
“In addition to investigation personnel, we have the support of the Transfer of Detainees, the Judicial Office, Video and others,” said the sources, adding that the Emergency Medical Care System (SAME) also participates in the procedures.
In dialogue with El Nueve, Ricardo Juri, the inspector commissioner in charge, indicated from Villa Crespo: “Since last year there has been an investigation being carried out by Dr. Lijo’s court with Dr. Alejandra Magnano, from the Trafficking and Exploitation of People (Protex). At this time, 50 raids and a procedure are being carried out at the Ezeiza Airport with detainees.
According to the first information, at the time of the interventions in at least two properties of the aforementioned Buenos Aires neighborhood -in the area of Av. Estado de Israel at 4400-, there were about 60 people, some of whom were in deteriorated physical conditions. and had to be transferred to nearby health centers.
Regarding the places where the operations were carried out, Juri explained: “A ten-story building belonging to the organization and criminal was raided, as well as a nearby place where people gathered. We don’t know what was happening in there, but we consider most of the people as victims. That is why the people from the Rescue Program are there to carry out the interviews that must be done by protocol in cases of human trafficking.”
After that, the inspector concluded: “Here they are investigating the two strong issues that exist in the country about human trafficking, which are labor and sexual exploitation. And also other crimes that have arisen through the investigation that is being carried out.”
“30 years of struggle”
Pablo Salum, victim and denouncer of the sect, gave an interview this morning on TN in which he said that the organization uses a “yoga school” as a front, among other locations -such as medical clinics and “coaching” centers-, and It has been active since the 90’s.
“My mother had a health problem and after going to various doctors she began to be captured by different gurus, one of whom was Juan Percovich. I was eight years old and at that time we were the third and fourth people to enter the organization,” the man recalled, adding: “It started out as a school of yoga and philosophy, but it grew rapidly and the capture and submission got worse. We were more than 1000 students and I went from having a beautiful family to having nothing”.
According to Salum, “it is proven” that Percovich was “exchanging sexual favors with students.” “Two of them were my mother and my sister, and children my age were forced to have sexual relations with these people, with adults and in many cases with their own parents. I was the first child to enter, to escape and to denounce the organization. That is why I was kidnapped and they took me to that same building [referring to the place raided in Villa Crespo]”, he assured.
Lastly, he expressed, “I have 30 years of struggle to get to this. I had lost hope in Justice, because a first case was shelved and a second, which had come to light and involved the Menem government and human rights organizations, was closed for lack of merit after 10 years. However, all the cases I have been involved in and the victims I have helped have led to this. This is the end that I was waiting for and it was achieved thanks to a new cause with new testimonies and new crimes.”
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.