The investigation began in 2004 into several properties owned by John Jairo Vasquez Velaquez, alias “Popeye,” and his relatives, which were purchased between 1988 and 1990, local media reported Thursday.
Investigators determined that the properties had been purchased with dirty money laundered through the Medellin drug cartel.
“Although Velaquez does not have any properties to his name, they are in the names of his relatives, and their purchase can clearly be traced back to capital funnelled through Pablo Escobar’s Medellin Cartel”, stated the Prosecutor General’s Office.
None of the owners could verify the legality of the property acquisitions. One relative, Aurelia Vasquez, claimed she had purchased one property with the winnings from a lottery in September of 1992, but when asked in what bank the the $20 million had been stored before the purchase, her legal defense had no response.
The list of properties included apartments, houses, warehouses, parking lots, offices and three vehicles that used to be listed under the names of Pablo Escobar.