A former government minister for the last de facto administration of Bolivia, Arturo Murillo, has been arrested in the United States on charges of money laundering and bribery, along with another former Bolivian official and three US citizens, the North American Department of Justice. country.
“Two Bolivians and three US citizens were arrested on May 21 and 22 in Florida and Georgia on criminal charges related to their alleged roles in a bribery and money laundering scheme.”As stated in the US government statement.
Murillo and his chief of office, Sergio Mendes, “are accused of taking bribes paid by an American company and individuals to secure a contract with the Bolivian government and then using the US financial system to launder those bribes,” Department of Justice.
“According to court documents, Arturo Carlos Murillo Brigi, 57, Sergio Rodrigo Mendesabal, 51, Luis Berkman, 58, Brian Berkman, 36, and Philip Lichtenfeld, 48, participated in the bribery scheme between November 2019 and April 2020 approximately, ” he said. The Americans paid $ 602,000 in bribes to Bolivian government officials in favor of Murillo, former Bolivian government minister, Mendez, former chief of staff of the Bolivian government ministry and another Bolivian government official.
Murillo and Mendes, who was then cabinet minister and prime minister respectively, were accused of taking bribes allegedly paid by a US company and individuals, with the intention of securing A contract with the Bolivian government to buy tear gasThen use the US financial system to launder those bribes.
Parallel, Daniel Alice Paredes, The son-in-law, Arturo Murillo, was arrested Wednesday in Cochabamba as he was withdrawing Money and valuables From a safe place On behalf of the former government minister, the portal reported Russia Today.
Also this wednesday The current Bolivian Minister of Government, Eduardo del Castillo, It was announced in La Paz that it had been decidedOr asking the United States to extradite former de facto officialsIn Bolivia, accused of misappropriating public funds by purchasing a bonus of riot control materials for the Bolivian armed and security forces.
Susanna Rios, Deputy Minister of Institutional Transparency Anti-Corruption He emphasized that the Murillo case has only just begun: “We have to investigate all the people who participated in this process, as we have to determine what the triangulation of resources is based on information already reported to the attorney general, as a result of the FBI investigation.”