Three former congressmen are under investigation for their alleged roles in the corruption scandal at Colombia’s drug enforcement agency, according to newly elected Prosecutor General Viviane Morales.
The National Narcotics Office (DNE) handles assets seized from drug lords and was taken over by the government in November due to suspicions of massive corruption. New director of the agency Juan Carlos Restrepo called it “the mafia’s theme park,” a place where one drug lord can buy property seized from another. He said that all employees and many old employees had codes that gave them access to the assets.
“In the Valle del Cauca, the NDN has seized the largest number of properties from drug lords, close to 28,000 goods. It is necessary to clarify in whose hands these properties currently are and … if there are signs of corruption,” Senator Carlos Fernando Motoa Solarte said, reports El Pais.
Among those under investigation are three former chairmen of the Senate, Luis Humberto Gomez Gallo, Javier Caceres Leal and Hernan Andrade, the first two of whom are currently in prison for “parapolitics” – dealings with paramilitaries.
Andrade, a Conservative Party senator, issued a statement saying that “I do not know of any private or public dealings of those people mentioned who allegedly are related to irregular activities in the National Narcotics Office.”
Morales said that the Supreme Court is responsible for advancing the investigations and that “indepent prosecutors” will be needed to get successful results.