Colombian officials are under investigation on suspicion of money laundering after U.S. Immigration agents caught sight of a congressional vehicle parked outside an alleged money launderer’s home.
The car was found outside the home of Diego Alberto Vidal Dussan who was arrested earlier this month for allegedly heading an international network of money laundering for drug traffickers.
According to reports, the businessman, who worked as a representative for a plastic surgery center and as a technology importer, trafficked over US$24 million in double-bottom lined suitcases to Panama and Peru.
Suspicions of a congressional connection were first aroused when Luis Javier Rojas Morera., the son of former government assets manager, was found with a congressman’s car and US$200,000 in cash.
Videl has been found with other government prescribed vehicles in the past including an ambulance and two Toyota Land Cruisers. Eight others were also brought into custody as accomplices of the money laundering operation, including Videl’s mother and two other family members and a lawyer.
The group was soon after released from pretrial detention by the Office of Public Prosecutor, though they are under house arrest and must wear electronic ankle bracelets until court proceedings are completed.
“The judge and the defense said that the prosecution failed to prove the underlying crime. They did not specify whom the money would be laundered for. First, they said the FARC, then Chinese smugglers and later the mafia. That’s why they weren’t sent to jail,” El Tiempo reports.
ICE warned Colombian authorities of their concerns, saying the network is powerful and expansive, with “tentacles” extending as far as the coast and mafia in Medellin and Cali.