United States authorities arrested a former Colombia governor on after he had been acting as a protected witness of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for more than two years.
The detainee, Alejandro Lyons, was governor of the northern Cordoba province between 2012 and 2015, and is wanted in his home country for a slew of corruption scandals.
After the DEA came ICE
Lyons was arrested by migration officials on Wednesday, reportedly after his visa ran out.
Despite an impressive list of corruption charges, the former governor has so far known to evade prison because in 2016 fled to the United States where he turned state witness for the DEA.
The US counternarcotics agency used the former governor as bait to uncover one of the most devastating corruption scandals in recent history, the “Toga Scandal” in which congressmen and governors allegedly bribed Supreme Court magistrates through the Prosecutor General’s anti-corruption chief.
Lyon’s impressive list of scandals
The former politician was sentenced to five years in prison in February last year after admitting to embezzling health funds through the creation of a database of non-existent patients claiming health benefits.
Lyons was elected governor of Cordoba after teaming up with with a number of Cordoba politicians, who are currently in jail for their ties to paramilitary death squads and involvement in corruption scandals.
Once in power, the attorney began setting up a criminal enterprise with the apparent attempt to embezzle as much money as possible while he was governor.
Apart from the fake patients scheme for which he was convicted, Lyons also granted his province’s lottery system to a company he owned together with the alleged front-man of Salvatore Mancuso, the extradited leader of paramilitary organization AUC.
Among the 20 criminal charges he is facing in Colombia is the murder of his royalties secretary, whose body was found on the estate of the governor’s father.