Colombian authorities have arrested Devis José Mendoza and Robinson Ruiz Guerrero, the accountant and auditor, respectively, of Barranquilla Businessman Alex Nain Saab Morán. Sr. Morán has close commercial ties to the Maduro government in Venezuela and has been the subject of investigatory journalists seeking information on his alleged links to criminal activities in that country after a Saab shell company obtained a contract with the Government of Venezuela for $685m.
The defendants have been charged with:
(1) Money Laundering.
(2) Acting in Concert in a criminal matter.
(3) Illicit Enrichment.
(4) Aggravated Fraud.
They are alleged to have facilitated the transfer, in international commerce, of $135m in goods; one report accuses them of laundering $25bn over a seven-year period, 2004-2011.
Other family members of Saab are named as Persons of Interest in Colombia; his two brothers, an ex-wife, and a cousin of the Auditor. Saab is represented by Abelardo de la Espriella, a Prominent criminal defence attorney, known for representing Colombian paramilitaries in criminal cases, and who maintains an office in Miami, though he is neither admission to practice law in Florida nor is qualified there as a Foreign Law Expert. De la Espriella recently visited Antigua, where Saab holds an Antigua diplomatic passport, according to public records in Antigua. Saab has reportedly relocated to Europe.
Whether there will be any additional defendants charged by Colombian authorities is not known, but we will be reporting on all further developments in this case.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant