Nicaragua: Folksinger killers laundered $1 billion

AP News
Posted: Jul 31, 2012 1:28 AM

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Nicaraguan prosecutors said Monday that a gang accused in the killing of Argentine folk singer Facundo Cabral laundered more than $1 billion in drug money in Nicaragua in recent years.

One of the main suspects in the drug-trafficking and organized-crime trial is businessman Henry Farinas, who was driving with Cabral in Guatemala in July 2011.

Prosecutors say Farinas was an associate in the gang along with Costa Rican Alejandro Jimenez Gonzalez, who allegedly ordered the attack on Farinas in retaliation for a purported betrayal.

The killers' bullets hit Cabral instead. Jimenez is jailed in Guatemala, and is being tried in absentia.

Prosecutor for drug crimes, Yiskar Moraga, submitted trial documents against a total of 24 defendants that suggested the gang laundered more than $1 billion through Nicaraguan financial institutions.

The documents say some of the defendants had front companies to launder money as well.

Banks and money-transfer companies wired money from Costa Rica, Panama and Guatemala into Nicaragua in the scheme. The money launderers allegedly worked for the "Charros" gang, linked to Mexico's La Familia cartel.

The prosecution is seeking 20-year sentences for those on trial.