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article imageColombia minister admits police ran male prostitute ring

By AFP     Feb 18, 2016 in World

Colombia's defense minister admitted Thursday that members of the national police operated a male prostitution ring but denied top bosses knew about it, after the scandal sparked two high-level resignations.

"Internal investigations indicate that there was such a network but that the commanders had no knowledge of it, although it did operate for a time and harmed the institution," minister Luis Carlos Villegas said on the radio.

He said the ring broke up "about eight or nine years ago."

Colombia's current President Juan Manuel Santos was defense minister at that time, with responsibility for the national police.

Colombia's national police chief Rodolfo Palomino resigned on Wednesday after prosecutors launched a probe into allegations that he ran the network dubbed "The Fellowship of the Ring" from 2004 to 2008.

Palomino, 58, denied the accusation.

Carlos Ferro, 53, resigned as deputy interior minister on Tuesday over the scandal.

A video broadcast by Colombian media supposedly showed Ferro in 2008, when he was a senator, discussing male prostitutes.

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