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Undercover Santa leads major drug bust on ‘Evil Reindeer Gang’

Video released by the Peruvian National Police on Saturday showed the officer in full festive fancy dress using a sledgehammer to break down the door to a building

Mike Bedigan
Monday 25 December 2023 15:20 GMT
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Undercover Santa leads major drug bust in Peru
Undercover Santa leads major drug bust in Peru (Peruvian National Police)

Police officers in Peru carried out a major drug bust near the capital of Lima with special help from “Santa Claus”.

Video released by the Peruvian National Police on Saturday showed an officer in full festive fancy dress using a sledgehammer to break down the door to a building.

Officers from the urban intelligence tactical division, known as the Green Squad, entered the building and arrested two men, aged 25 and 32, on suspicion of selling cannabis and cocaine.

According to Green Squad chief Walter Palomino the disguise was used so as to not arouse suspicion in the neighbourhood in Huacal, close to Lima.

The force reportedly dubbed the alleged drug dealers the “Evil Reindeer Gang”.

Footage showed the officer in fancy dress using a sledgehammer to break down a door as part of the raid (Peruvian National Police)

Further footage showed “Santa” joining other officers for a briefing ahead of the raid, then running through the street to the premises.

As well as a red and white jumpsuit, the costume had a removable head with flowing white hair and a beard.

“Santa” was also present for the arrest of one of the men, who was shown in the footage lying on the ground with his hands behind his back.

Reuters reports that the tactic of launching raids particularly to take down drug gangs using operatives in dress-up is a common tactic of Peruvian police to assure the element of surprise.

The outlet reported on a similar situation in 2020, during which officers on another drug raid arrived dressed as Santa and his elves.

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