Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Oxfam scandal: Official arrested over corruption

Oxfam scandal: Official arrested over corruption

He was detained along with former president Alvaro Colom, and other members of Colom's 2008-2012 government, in which Fuentes served as finance minister.

Juan Alberto Fuentes, Chairman of the charity Oxfam International, was arrested in Central American country of Guatemala, media reported on Tuesday. He added that he hoped justice was done in the case.

" Dr. Juan Alberto Fuentes Knight today stepped down as the Chair of the Board of Supervisors of Oxfam International".

Guatemalan prosecutors also announced that former Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom has also been arrested as part of their probe into the acquisition of public buses used in Guatemala City, according to The Guardian. He said those arrested faced charges of fraud and embezzlement.

Sandoval said the detentions included the former ministers of the interior, finance, defense, economy, education, labor, environment, health, sports and culture, and energy and mines.

An Oxfam spokesperson said: "As far as we are aware, no formal charges have been made against Dr Fuentes Knight".

The spokesperson said Fuentes "maintains his innocence and assures us that he has cooperated fully with the investigation".

Mr. Fuentes Knight said before Tuesday's hearing that he had warned against continuing government payments to the bus companies, citing "anomalies".

Prosecutors said the process was deeply flawed and included subsidies and other measures that benefited public servants.

Current President Jimmy Morales, a former television comedian who ran on an anti-corruption ticket, came under fire previous year from the United Nations, the European Union and the U.S. ambassador in Guatemala for attempting to expel a UN-backed prosecutor seeking to put him on trial for alleged corruption.

Chief prosecutor Thelma Aldana said investigators suspected the Government was defrauded out of $US35 million.

Colom is the second Guatemalan ex-president to be detained for corruption.

Alfonso Portillo, Guatemala's president in 2000-2004, was extradited to the United States and pleaded guilty to money-laundering conspiracy in 2014.

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