10:59 GMT23 September 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US prosecutors have charged a former Guatemalan official who used drug trafficking proceeds and other dirty cash to bribe corrupt politicians, the Department of Justice said in a news release.

    "South Florida federal prosecutors have charged a former Economics Minister of Guatemala, Asisclo Valladares Urruela, 44, with helping to launder close to $10 million of illegal drug proceeds and other ill-gotten money", the release said on Wednesday.

    The Justice Department said Valladares Urruela enabled the illegal drug trade by creating a demand for untraceable cash that he then used to bribe corrupt Guatemalan politicians during a four-year conspiracy.

    "Valladares Urruela regularly received backpacks, duffel bags, and briefcases full of dirty, untraceable cash that he knew came from drug trafficking and corruption and used it to bribe Guatemalan politicians, according to the complaint affidavit", the release read.

    According to the criminal complaint affidavit, Valladares Urruela’s co-conspirators included a major drug trafficker, a corrupt Guatemalan politician, and a crooked Guatemalan bank employee, the release added.

    Tags:
    money laundering, Guatemala, US Justice Department, United States
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