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Guatemala arrest 3 ex-ministers on corruption charges

Guatemala arrest 3 ex-ministers on corruption charges
Officials accused of conspiracy, money laundering, prosecutor says

By Senabri Silvestre

SANTO DOMINGO, Dom. Rep. (AA) – Three former Guatemalan ministers have been arrested on charges of corruption under ex-President Otto Perez Molina, prosecutors said.

Two other former Cabinet ministers are also being sought.

Former Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla, and Defense ministers Manuel López Ambrosio and Ulises Anzueto, were detained on charges of conspiracy and money laundering, officials said late Saturday.

The public ministry issued an international arrest orders for former Energy Minister Erick Archila and former Communications Minister Alejandro Sinibald. Both are out of the country.

General prosecutor Thelma Aldana said the accused used at least 33 million quetzals ($4.3 million) from the national treasury to buy luxury gifts for Perez Molina and his Vice President Roxana Baldetti.

Among of the gifts were a luxurious boat, property in Roatan, the largest Honduran island and a helicopter. All of the gifts were given to the duo between 2012 and 2014, she said.

"I do not know why I was arrested, institutions are doing their job. I think at the end of the day things will become clear, I cannot say any more.

I'm proud of the work I did," Lopez Bonilla said after his arrest, according to The Associated Press.

Aldana said officials detained used perverse logic to commit the crimes and that Baldetti’s former private secretary, Carlos Monzon, was responsible of collecting the money for Perez Molina´s birthday.

He is collaborating with prosecutors and revealed details about the corruption structure, she said.

Perez Molina and Baldetti are currently imprisoned on corruption charges.

They allegedly received $3.2 million in bribes in turn for providing a Spanish company with a state contract.

source: News Feed
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