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Tony Saca, El Salvador Ex-President, Arrested on Money-Related Charges

Image: Tony Saca, El Salvador Ex-President, Arrested on Money-Related Charges

El Salvador's then-President Tony Saca delivers an address about his administration's five years in power in San Salvador, on May 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Luis Romero)

By    |   Monday, 31 Oct 2016 02:25 PM

Tony Saca, El Salvador's ex-president, was arrested over the weekend on charges of illicit enrichment, unlawful association, and money laundering.

When Saca, a former radio sports announcer, entered office in 2004, he declared he had $3.6 million. But he left office in 2009 with $13.1 million, The Associated Press reported. Saca was viewed as a strong ally of the United States during his time in power.

Six other former government officials were arrested Saturday as well. Saca was arrested with former public waterworks official Cesar Funes, 46, and ex-presidential communications chief Julio Rank, 65, while celebrating the wedding of one Saca's three sons, reported Agence France-Presse.

Official sources said the suspects were in the custody of the anti-drugs squad in the country's capital San Salvador.

Saca's bank accounts and properties frozen by El Salvador's Supreme Court, according to Reuters. Saca, who is currently a private businessman, was kicked out of his conservative Nationalist Republican Party, Arena, in 2009 on charges of irregularities.

Mauricio Funes, who followed Saca as president from 2009 to 2014, was ordered last month to stand trial for more than $700,000 that he was not able to account for following his term in office. Funes was head of the leftist political party Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front.

Political analyst Juan Ramon Medrano said El Salvador corruption investigations likely came from pressure partly from the United States, which demanded action from the country to receive financial aid for development and to fight crime.

"It is good that pressure from the United States is succeeding in cleaning up suspected corruption in the country," Medrano told AFP. "But pressure should also be applied to those who evade taxes and have drowned the country fiscally."

Salvador Sanchez Ceren was elected president of El Salvador in 2014. Some 2 million Salvadorans, Central America's smallest country, are believed to be living in the United States, leaving because of a civil war in the 1980s to violent drug gang violence today, NPR reported.

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Tony Saca, El Salvador's ex-president, was arrested over the weekend on charges of illicit enrichment, unlawful association, and money laundering.
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2016-25-31
Monday, 31 Oct 2016 02:25 PM
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