Crime & Justice

Colombia to investigate corruption in drug asset seizures

Bogota, Oct 13 (EFE).- Colombian President Gustavo Petro said Thursday that the outdated inventory of the Special Assets Society, which manages assets seized from drug traffickers, is “one of the worst acts of corruption.”

“If the law orders that the SAE must update the inventory, then someone broke the law, simple as that, because the inventory is not there. And that implies a chain of people who have been in charge of this entity that I think should be investigated,” the president said at a press conference in Bogota.

Petro said it would be “a huge amount of money (…), billions of pesos” and an “obvious breach of the law” that could have “malicious purposes.”

The investigation will be led by the Prosecutor’s Office, with the collaboration of the society’s administration, which will need “an archaeological activity (…) that borders on the forensic term” to investigate the activity of the entity’s last years, Petro said.

Attorney-General Francisco Barbosa said the “management of the assets or goods that the Attorney General’s Office has been delivering” to the society will be investigated.

A list of 19,587 goods has been delivered divided through rural, urban, livestock, vehicles, companies, commercial establishments and others related to cash, gold, jewelry, aircraft and boats.

Some of the real estate, for example, remains in some cities in evident signs of decay and abandonment since the domain was taken from their owners and passed into the hands of the state.

“Why so many human lives were invested in fighting drug trafficking if in the end, in the end, the state ended up being the bridge and the instrument to return the objective of their illicit activity” to the drug traffickers, Petro said. EFE


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