Colombia’s comptroller general orders the seizure of goods and money belonging to ex-Agriculture Ministers Andres Felipe Arias and Andres Dario Fernandez as part of investigations into the misuse of government agricultural subsidies, according to Colombian media.
The two men successively oversaw the AIS (Agro IngresoSeguro) program, which gave funds intended for poor farmers to wealthy families and political donors.
The comptroller opened a fiscal responsibility process against both former officials, which will determine whether they are responsible for the mismanagement of public funds regarding an advertising contract worth $7.9 million made as part of the AIS program.
The comptroller has identified these funds as being used for unplanned programs, and as being in violation of austerity controls, reports La F.M.
Also under investigation are 17 contractors and officials for their part in this contract. One of the representatives of a company implicated, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, currently has immunity against prosecution for his part in the affair.
However, the comptroller has stated he will work to have this immunity lifted.
Earlier this week, former Miss Colombia Valerie Dominguez was cited as being one of 22 people who could be sent to prison for their part in the scandal.