Alfonso Portillo stashed millions of dollars in embezzled public funds at his private residence during his 2000-2004 tenure as president of Guatemala, Prensa Libre daily said Wednesday, citing the account of a former presidential aide turned state’s witness.
Retired army Col. Jacobo Salan Sanchez, who was Portillo’s security chief, said he saw more than 100 million quetzales ($12.5 million) in cash in the then-president’s home, the paper said.
Salan, arrested Sept. 5 after more than 15 months as a fugitive, demanded consideration in exchange for revealing how more than 120 million quetzales in public money was stolen during the Portillo administration.Hopefully, I'll get back to regular posting tomorrow of Friday. Anyone going to LASA in Toronto next week?
The former colonel was charged with covering up the corruption, but insists he was only following orders, and his bargain with prosecutors includes a promise of freedom and of protection for him and his family.
After directing money to the defense ministry, Portillo would have government vehicles take cash from the ministry to the vaults of state-owned mortgage lender Credito Hipotecario Nacional, where it was deposited in accounts belonging to officials, their families and friends, Salan told prosecutors.
The embezzled money was later transferred to foreign banks after being “laundered” through Credito Hipotecario, according to Prensa Libre’s account of the testimony.