Colombia’s Serna, Escobar family in money laundering probe
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Authorities in Argentina have accused former Colombia soccer international Mauricio Serna of being part of a criminal organization devoted to money laundering.
Serna was named on Monday along with the widow and son of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, Victoria Henao and Juan Pablo Escobar Henao. All three are accused of being the link in Argentina for a Colombian drug dealer, Jose Piedrahita, to launder money through real estate and a cafe.
Mariano Federici, who heads Argentina’s Financial Information Unit, said Serna “eased the entry of Piedrahita’s funds into Argentina through swapped real estate operations, here and in Colombia.”
Piedrahita was arrested last month in Colombia and is wanted for extradition to the U.S. The Department of Justice says he also bribed a federal agent with cash and prostitution to get his name removed from a cocaine-smuggling case.
A midfielder during his playing career, Serna helped Boca Juniors to win South America’s Copa Libertadores in 2000 and 2001, and to lift the Intercontinental Cup in 2000 after beating Real Madrid.
The Escobar family has lived in Argentina since the 1990s. The family and Serna could not be reached for comment.