Police in Peru recently carried out a drug raid in the capital Lima while disguising themselves as Santa Claus and his elves, authorities revealed Wednesday.
The operation, which took place on December 5 in the Villa El Salvador district of Lima, resulted in the arrest of four suspected drug traffickers, the Peruvian National Police said in a statement Wednesday.
The raid was recorded with a video camera where the two officers are seen breaking down the door to a house before arresting a man in a blue t-shirt.
“We are the police! We are the green squad! This is an anti-drug operation!” one of the agents is heard shouting as they breakdown the door and arrest the subject.
🎬 Policías encubiertos, vestidos de Santa Claus y un elfo como "elemento sorpresa", participaron en una redada antidrogas en Lima, Perú
— EL PAÍS América (@elpais_america) December 15, 2020
According to a police spokesperson, the suspect had been caught on videotape selling drugs outside his home near a local school. On arrival, officers seized various illegal items including drugs and a firearm.
“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,” said Col. Fredy Velasquez, chief of the Grupo Terna narcotics squad.
Launching raids in disguise is a common tactic among the Grupo Terna, which they employ in order to maintain an element of surprise. “Agents from Grupo Terna disguise themselves in order to carry out their police operations without being discovered,” a spokesperson told CNN.
Police officers in Peru have developed a reputation for unorthodox policing. In April, police doused a group of Americans with bleach as they tried to leave the country despite a nationwide quarantine. The group from New Jersey enlisted the help of their senator, Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who revealed that he brought the “alarming situation” to the “attention of the highest levels of the U.S. and Peruvian governments.” Following his intervention, authorities eventually allowed them to leave the hostel and take a chartered flight organized by the U.S. government.
NEW: Americans say they were doused in bleach after authorities in Peru detained them in a mandatory coronavirus quarantine. (We have obtained video from the incident below). The State Department has raised the issue with Peruvian authorities. https://t.co/UWOqVpqOLo pic.twitter.com/FlUbCIl8sW
— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) April 8, 2020