Saturday, May 15, 2021

Paraguayan Ex-President Subpoenaed in Money Laundering Probe


Months after the end of his 2013-2018 term, Paraguay’s former President Horacio Cartes was subpoenaed on Monday by lawmakers who are investigating money-laundering allegations against a Brazilian currency trader.

The members of the congressional committee conducting the probe on Monday decided to subpoena Cartes after his name was cited by Raquel Cuevas, a former official of financial watchdog agency Seprelad, during her testimony.

The committee chairman, Sen. Rodolfo Friedmann, announced Monday on Twitter the summons for Cartes, who has been reported to be a friend of currency trader Dario Messer.

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After the morning session, Friedmann told reporters that Cuevas pointed out at the end of his statement “that Mr. Horacio Cartes is included in the final report (from Seprelad on Messer) of June 2017.”

The commission questioned Cuevas and Cartes’ Cabinet chief, Juan Carlos Lopez Moreira, who confirmed that the erstwhile president knew Messer.

However, Moreira stated that he never spoke about Messer with his then-boss even after the case became publicly known out of respect since the currency trader was a friend of Cartes.

Messer is a fugitive from charges in Brazil for money-laundering operations that amounted to as much as $1.6 billion in 52 countries.

Paraguayan prosecutors contend that Messer, his son and a cousin of Cartes conducted irregular operations in Paraguay bringing in $40 million.

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