Nicaraguan prosecutors have accused alleged members of the Charros gang, linked to the murder of Argentine folk singer Facundo Cabral, of laundering more than $1 billion in the country.
The network, led by Costa Rican Alejandro Jimenez, alias “El Palidejo,” is accused of laundering over $1.11 billion in illegal profits through Nicaragua’s financial system between 2005 and 2012.
The charges were laid out before a court in Managua against some 24 individuals linked to the gang, including Nicaraguan nightclub owner Henry Fariñas (pictured), and former high court judge Julio Cesar Osuna, reported La Prensa.
Prosecutors also detailed seeming irregularities in the finances of the accused. Fariñas allegedly spent $10.1 million during the period, despite having a registered income of only $3.5 million, Confidencial reported.
InSight Crime Analysis
The criminal group is suspected of making its money by trafficking drugs and people through Central America. Authorities began tracing the criminal network after Argentine folk singer Facundo Cabral was murdered in Guatemala in a hit meant for Fariñas. The extremely high profile nature of the case pushed governments in the region to uncover the network behind the killing.
Palidejo is suspected of ordering the hit after a business dispute with Fariñas, which may have involved the theft of a drug shipment. He was captured off the coast of Colombia in March.
The investigation has pointed to the extent of corruption in Nicaragua’s security forces. As InSight Crime reported in a special investigation in July, one high-ranking police officer said that Fariñas was working closely with corrupt Nicaraguan police officers involved in schemes to intercept drug shipments. The allegations about the Charros’ money laundering activities in Nicaragua could mean that more revelations are set to emerge.