Politicians accused of cashing in on Colombian narco-goods

Fourteen Colombian politicians were accused on Tuesday of abusing their power to influence the national drugs enforcement agency, DNE.

It’s alleged the suspects, which include former heads of Congress and a former president of the Senate, tried to convince DNE directors to hand over property and assets seized from drug traffickers to the politicians’ friends and family.

The Prosecutor’s General Office has launched an investigation into the scandal, which implicates former heads of congress Hernan Andrade and Luis Humberto Gomez Gallo, and former president of senate Javier Caceres.

Widespread allegations of corruption at the DNE led the government to take it over last year. Last April President Juan Manuel Santos announced it would be dismantled, but this has yet to take place.

Andrade denied the allegations Tuesday, saying There was no influence peddling and favoritism for any family.”

Others involved include former congressmen Myriam Paredes, Eduardo Enrique Maya, Omar Yepez Alzate, Oscar Fernando Bravo, Hector Jose Ospina Avilles, Alvaro Ashton Giraldo, and Enrique Rafael Caballero.

Miguel Pinedo Vidal, Cristobal Rufino Cordoba and Lucero Cortes Mendez, who are still serving in Congress, were also put under investigation.

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