BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombian authorities say a man posing as the Lebanese ambassador fooled local officials for months, until a suspicious army colonel checked with the embassy and unmasked him.
Now, Jeyson Puello is being investigated as a possible con artist who rubbed shoulders with military officers, academics and local politicians in the northeastern city of Bucaramanga.
Authorities say Puello posed as the ambassador for several months. He spoke to local universities on Middle Eastern affairs, sent news releases and sponsored a charity event for firefighters. He carried fake IDs from the United Nations and Colombia's foreign ministry.
Puello denies committing any crime. He tells the local newspaper Vanguardia that as a Muslim with Lebanese roots, he's qualified to talk on the Middle East and calls the impersonation a joke.