The president of Colombia’s Senate is lending his name to fraudulent “free transport” permits being sold to the public, the former president of the body claimed Tuesday.
It’s alleged the fake permits, which are issued in the names of government officials and allow free travel and parking throughout the country, are being sold for $1,650 after being co-signed by Senate President Juan Manuel Corzo and Secretary General of the Chamber Jesus Alfonso Rodriguez.
Benedetti produced a copy of the permit and photographs of a BMW car allegedly using the document as evidence of the illegal operation. According to neighbors of the BMW’s owner, who lives in a residential complex in north Bogota, the man changes his name frequently and hides his face with scarves and sunglasses.
Benedetti reported that in December, in the same apartment where the man in question lives, a man by known by the alias “Pablito” was arrested for suspected ties to paramilitaries.
The former president reported the alleged scam to Colombia’s Prosecutor General, calling for it to investigate the crimes of forging public documents and using false documents. Benedetti abolished all such special permits while he was president of the Senate.
Speaking on behalf of the Senate, Senator Corzo said, “We will investigate the falsification of transport permits,” explaining that the documents are issued by Congress for the exclusive use of legislators and their families.