Police in Colombia have confirmed that four people have been detained for their alleged involvement in the kidnapping of Luis Diaz’s parents.
The Liverpool forward’s parents were kidnapped two weeks ago and, while his mother was released hours later, a large search for his father, Luis Manuel Diaz, was conducted by the police and military.
It was soon discovered by the Colombian government that the National Liberation Army (ELN) was behind the kidnapping and the guerrilla group then promised to negotiate his safe release.
Manuel Diaz was finally freed into the arms of a humanitarian commission involving the Catholic Church and the United Nations and was reunited with his family and neighbours hours later.
Days after his kidnapping, police arrested one person alleged to have tracked the couple and informed his co-conspirators of their whereabouts.
On Saturday, it was confirmed that more people said to be involved had been caught and will be prosecuted for extortionate kidnapping, simple kidnapping and aggravated robbery.
The Attorney General’s office said that the detainees were “involved in the surveillance and monitoring of the victims to plan and execute” the kidnapping.
One of those arrested is alleged to be the leader of Los Primos, El Tiempo reports, while the other three are said to be in charge of kidnapping people to hand them over to the ELN.
During the raids, El Colombiana claims that firearms, money and several mobile phones were seized while El Tiempo says drugs were also found.
“In proceedings carried out in the early hours of today in Maicao, [La Guajira], two of these people known with the aliases of Marlon and El Negro were captured,” the announcement added. “These two arrests are in addition to that of Yerdinson Jose Bolívar Bolívar, alias Arenca, carried out on October 31 in Barrancas.
“This man was part of the criminal group ‘Los Primates’ and was charged at the time with the crime of conspiracy. On Tuesday, November 7, at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office, he received a measure of deprivation of liberty in a prison.”
General William Rene Salamanca Ramirez, who was in charge of the arrest operation, posted: “In coordination with [the Attorney General’s Office] we captured, in Maicao and Barrancas (La Guajira), four people accused of participating in the kidnapping of Mr. Luis Manuel Diaz, father of ‘Lucho’ Díaz, star of our Colombian Soccer Team.
“We launched ‘Operation Freedom’ on the same day of the kidnapping, which allowed us to identify the alleged intellectual and material authors, among them the criminal group ‘Los Primos’, which commits crimes through criminal outsourcing.”
Since the kidnapping, Liverpool star Luis Diaz remained in England and featured in his team’s draw against Luton last week, scoring a late equaliser for the Reds, and then started in Thursday’s Europa League loss to Toulouse hours after his father was released.