As children, we have grown up hearing stories of Santa Claus and his elf delivering Christmas presents to children but in a new twist of events, they were busy busting a drug deal in Peru. A family consisting of dope and cocaine dealers found themselves being busted by Peruvian narcs who were dressed as the famous Christmas duo.
According to the Peruvian National Police, 4 arrests were made on December 13 from the suspected family in the Villa El Salvador district of Lima. This suspicion arose when a video was surfaced showing the accused selling drugs right outside his house, which is situated in close proximity to a school. Over 1,187 small packets of coca paste (a waste product of cocaine), 166 small packets of marijuana and a .38 calibre pistol were sized by the police from the accused’s residence. Following the arrest, they were handed to prosecutors and could face over 3 to 7 years in jail for their offence.
While officers dressed as a Santa and an Elf might be new to us, this is not the first time that these officers have adopted such a getup for a raid. They are part of a secret, undercover unit of police called Grupo Terna which is famous for cleverly using inconspicuous disguises as part of their raid operations. A similar arrest was made in 2016 with the officers dressed as the ‘Christmas duo’ and posing as homeless people is also part of their usual routine.
The anti-drug squad were also videotaped while making the arrest and were seen yelling "We are the police, we are the green squad, this is an anti-drug operation," as one of the blue-shirted suspects was tackled by the police. This undercover police squad’s success in Peru is quite high and they attribute it to their habit of wearing disguises as it creates an element of surprise which catches the ‘bad guys’ off guard.
Colonel Fredy Velasquez, head of the Grupo Terna issued a statement saying "With the results, we are seeing, a significant amount of drugs has been confiscated, both marijuana and basic cocaine paste in ketes (small packages of drugs), a firearm has also been seized". While this may be an unconventional way of catching suspects, it is certainly effective and definitely, tabloid-worthy.