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Friday Oct 20 2017

Pablo Escobar’s widow and son face money laundering probe

Pablo Escobar's widow and son, Maria Isabel Santos and Sebastian Marroquin, pictured here with the drug lord in 1988, are facing scrutiny over money laundering allegations. Photo: AFP 

BUENOS AIRES: The widow and son of late Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar are facing scrutiny as part of an investigation into money laundering in Argentina, judicial sources said Friday.

Investigators suspect Maria Isabel Santos and Sebastian Marroquin’s involvement when their names appeared on papers seized in raids on a property owned by Mateo Corvo – a real estate entrepreneur in Buenos Aires’ exclusive Pilar district who is accused of laundering drug money.

Previously known as Victoria Henao and Juan Pablo Escobar, Santos and Marroquin adopted new identities after relocating to Argentina nearly two decades ago.

Corvo is suspected of laundering money for a presumed Colombian drug dealer, Jose Piedrahita Ceballos, and investing it in real estate.

The Escobar relatives are suspected of acting an as intermediary between those two men and receiving a commission for this.

Assets with a total value of $15 million were confiscated during raids on the house of Corvo and elsewhere. Judicial sources confirmed these included gold bullion bars were confiscated, while six people were detained.

Upon questioning, Corvo declared his innocence and denied any involvement in laundering drug money, sources said.

Towards the end of the 1990s, Santos was arrested in Argentina on another charge of money laundering.

Cocaine lord Escobar became one of the richest men in the world, according to Forbes, after building an empire fuelled by his drug trafficking. He died during a shoot-out in 1993.


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