Colombian authorities arrested an Italian businessman Friday for allegedly laundering money for drug trafficking organizations.
The controversial businessman Giorgio Sale has been a suspected ally of extradited paramilitary chief Salvatore Mancuso for years and was arrested after prosecutors found an “unjustified increase” of income in the Italian’s Colombian businesses.
Sale was arrested once before in 2006, but was released. In 2008, the administration of Alvaro Uribe accused the Supreme Court of having ties to the Italian forcing the country’s highest court to admit that some of its magistrates had been at social events where Sale was also present.
The accusations came at the midst of increasing tensions between Uribe and the court over dozens of Uribe-aligned congressmen who were sent to jail on charges with ties to paramilitary groups and an investigation into the 2004 bribery of lawmakers to secure a constitutional change needed for Uribe’s 2006 reelection.
Sale’s arrest on Friday came days after former AUC commander “Don Berna” admitted to prosecutors that he was behind a 2008 meeting between AUC representatives and high government officials to discredit the court.