Colombian President Petro's son arrested on money laundering charges

Colombian President Gustavo Petro and his son Nicolas Petro. (Photo/AFP Archive)

Colombian President Gustavo Petro said that his son Nicolas has been arrested on charges of money laundering and illicit enrichment in a scandal linked to Petro's election campaign.

Colombia's first leftist president wrote on Twitter on Saturday, which is being rebranded as X, that police arrested his son and the son's ex-wife Daysuris Vasquez.

In March, Vasquez alleged that Nicolas Petro received large amounts of money from drug traffickers and smugglers in 2022 for his father's ultimately successful presidential campaign but instead used it to live in luxury in the northern city of Barranquilla.

"As a person and father it hurts to see so much self-destruction," he added.

Prosecutors confirmed the arrest of the younger Petro on charges of money laundering and illicit enrichment. Vasquez was also charged with that first offence.

Since the scandal broke, President Petro has denied receiving money from the country's powerful cocaine lords. He himself asked that his son be investigated.

'Drug trafficker connections'

Nicolas Petro was a lawmaker for his father's party in the Northern Atlantic department. In that department and elsewhere along Colombia's Caribbean coast, the younger Petro became a key player in his father's drive to become president.

People in the country's Caribbean region have historically been wary of leftist politicians, but in 2022 they did support Petro as the country elected him as its first leftist president after decades of rule by conservatives.

News outlets published bank records of his showing he had far more money than would correspond to his salary from congress.

Vasquez once said in an interview that her former husband received the equivalent of $124,000 from a former drug trafficker named Samuel Santander Lopesierra.

Santander Lopesierra served 18 years in prison in the United States for drug trafficking.


Source: TRT