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Colombia Army Issues Warrants for Soldiers - 2003-05-21

The Colombian army says arrest warrants have been issued for more than 100 army soldiers accused of pocketing millions of dollars in cash found last month during a raid on a leftist rebel hideout.

Military officials say the troops came across $14 million in cash while searching a stronghold of the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in southern Caqueta province.

They say the soldiers never reported finding the money and that a large number of the men abruptly left the army a short time later. So far, 40 soldiers have been arrested in connection with the scandal.

Colombian Defense Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez says wages for soldiers should be increased to prevent corruption. She says Colombian soldiers are risking their lives for the country yet are earning very little money.