ICE, Guatemalan authorities arrest head of fraudulent document ring, seize 400 altered passports
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – A 25-year-old Guatemalan citizen suspected of leading a fraudulent document ring was arrested April 8, following a multi-agency investigation between Guatemalan authorities and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Attaché Office in Guatemala.
Gilder Gustavo Garcia Cuyuch was arrested following the execution of four search warrants in three residences and one travel agency. According to Guatemalan law enforcement, Cuyuch allegedly operated his document fraud business out of a travel agency in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. During the execution of the warrant, law enforcement discovered and seized approximately 400 fraudulent Guatemalan passports, along with the printing and computer equipment allegedly used to manufacture the documents.
The investigation by HSI Guatemala, the Guatemalan Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit (TCIU), the Ministerio Pubico and other local police agencies began nearly two months ago when authorities intercepted an individual who was intending to travel to the United States with an altered Guatemalan passport. Authorities then began tracing the origins of the altered passport.
Cuyuch is pending prosecution in Guatemala and faces up to 10 years imprisonment.
Through its International Operations, HSI has 65 operational attaché offices in 46 countries around the world. HSI special agents work closely with foreign law enforcement agencies through a robust network of specialized, vetted units known as Transnational Criminal Investigative Units. Additionally, HSI brings personnel from host countries to the United States to train at the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia.