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El Salvador’s former first lady arrested in corruption case

/ 10:59 AM June 13, 2018

El Salvador’s former first lady Vanda Pignato in February 06, 2013. AFP FILE PHOTO/Pedro LADEIRA / AFP PHOTO / PEDRO LADEIRA

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Police in El Salvador have arrested former first lady Vanda Pignato for her alleged participation in a $351 million embezzlement scheme run by her husband, ex-President Mauricio Funes.

A judge in San Salvador issued the arrest warrant for Pignato on Monday, and the National Civil Police announced on Tuesday that they had arrested her.

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Last week, prosecutors ordered the arrests of Funes and 30 members of his inner circle, including two of Funes’ sons.

Funes governed from 2009 to 2014, and has been living in exile in Nicaragua since 2016.

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He mounted a defense via Twitter, asking: “Where was the crime?” and “What does that have to do with me?”

Prosecutors said Funes stole $292 million from El Salvador’s mortgage bank, including millions carried out as cash in plastic garbage bags. /kga

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TAGS: arrest, corruption, Crime, El Salvador, embezzlement, First Lady, Mauricio Funes, Vanda Pignato
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