False alarm sends 1,500 Colombian cops on wild goose chase

A Colombian television reporter found herself in hot water after contacting police about an abduction that never happened, media report said.

The incident began in the early hours of Wednesday, when Karen Gamba climbed into a Bogota taxi and began sending text messages to her friend, police Col. Diego Hernandez, alerting him to an "express kidnapping", in which the victim is driven around and forced to withdraw cash from ATMs.

Gamba's messages spurred police commanders to deploy 1,500 officers and enlist some 17,000 taxi drivers in a search for the ostensible victim.

The giant mobilization came to a halt when a highly intoxicated Gamba was found safe and sound at her home, Col. Hernandez told the media.

In the meantime, however, the unwitting cabbie who was driving Gamba was briefly detained.

Gamba denied having mounted a hoax, telling the media that she was only trying to inform police about a discrepancy between the taxi's registration number and the information on the driver's identification card, displayed inside the vehicle.

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