5 more arrest warrants issued in Colombian tax corruption case

Prosecutors issued arrest warrants Wednesday for five more Colombians suspected of embezzling billions of dollars in taxes.

Andrea Botina Botero, Diana Marcela Ramos, Antonio Ramon Angulo, and Fernardo Vargas Quinceno will be tried for conspiracy, embezzlement, money laundering, document falsification, and bribery as were 14 other tax officials last week.

From 2004 to 2009 billions of dollars were issued by DIAN, Colombia’s tax agency, in the form of tax refunds to companies that did not exist. The arrested officials are accused of diverting that money and pocketing it.

Estimates on the amount stolen have varied wildly, from $4.6 billion every year to $2 billion total.

Of those already charged, the supposed ring-leader has pled guilty to corruption and conspiracy charges. Of the rest, one has pleaded guilty while the others contest all charges against them.

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