Andres Camacho, an ex-Bogota council member received a sentence of three years on Monday, for his role in the ongoing ‘carousel’ corruption scandal involving both current and former council members, reports national media.
Camacho will not go to prison and will serve his 40-month sentence in freedom. Camacho benefited from a “conditional suspension of prison time,” in exchange for paying a hefty fine and providing all necessary information to the appropriate investigators, according to national newspaper El Espectador.
Charges and sentencing
In addition to the 40-month sentence, Camacho also received a 55-month ban from holding any public office, according to national newsmagazine Semana.
The conditional suspension of a prison sentence is only available for sentences less than four years, and for non-violent crimes.
Camacho was processed for having received the equivalent of $160,000 to benefit a group of contractors with contracts managed by the Bogota entity in charge of road maintenance in 2009, according to El Espectador.
The judge tasked with carrying out the sentence stated, “[Camacho] deserved condemnation because what was intended to benefit the community, instead benefited special interests and contractors.”
‘Carousel’ contract scandal
|“[Camacho] deserved condemnation, because what was intended to benefit the community, instead benefited special interests and contractors.”|
The ongoing scandal, known as the “carousel” scandal, most notably involves former mayor of Bogota Samuel Moreno and several ex-congressmen, accused of having been part of a network of politicians, public officials and private contractors that secured the embezzlement of half a billion dollars during the Moreno administration (2008-2011) in schemes affecting public works contracts to ambulance services.
Carousel contracts are corruption cases where the money goes in a circle – in this case, allegedly from the government officials to the private companies and then back to the officials.
Former Bogota Mayor Samuel Moreno was suspended in office in 2011 and later jailed for his involvement in the same “carousel contracts” scandal.
Just last Thursday, the Prosecutor General’s office seized over 70 properties belonging to four current and two former Bogota council members implicated in the scandal. The precautionary property seizures against the six council members stem from an investigation into contracts awarded to a private construction conglomerate, the Nule Group, in exchange for a payoff.
Moreno, along with his brother, Senator Ivan Moreno are alleged to have made an estimated $5.5 million in kickbacks from the TransMilenio project.