Guatemalan Ex-President, Ex-VP Bags 16 Years Imprisonment

A Former President of Guatemala, was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment on Wednesday.

Guatemalan Ex-President, Ex-VP Bags 16 Years Imprisonment

The judgement was passed in a court after Perez was found guilty of leading a massive customs fraud scheme while in office.

Perez’s former vice, also received the same sentence.

The presiding judge, Irma Valdes ruled that Perez was found guilty of racketeering and fraud targeting the customs system.

Perez, who was forced to resign from office in 2015, was sentenced to eight years on each count

Perez, who was forced to resign from office in 2015, was sentenced to eight years on each count

A United Nations-backed anti-corruption body revealed several scandals in Guatemala.

The anti-corruption body was, however, shut down in 2019 by former President, Jimmy Morales after it began investigating him.

The body uncovered a multimillion-dollar scheme to cheat Guatemala’s customs duty system, which ultimately led to Perez’s resignation.

According to investigators, those involved in the scheme – known as “La Linea” (The Line) – received bribes of some $3.5 million.

Investigators revealed that Guatemala was defrauded out of almost $10 million in tax revenue.

Perez after being handed the sentence told reporters, “I truly feel frustrated, I feel disappointed.”

The former president, however, vowed to appeal the ruling of the court.

Sixteen other people involved in the scam were convicted during the sentencing and 11 others were acquitted.

The director of Transparency International’s local chapter, Citizen Action, Edie Cux speaking on the development said, “The ‘La Linea’ case is one of the most symbolic and is a milestone in Guatemalan history.

“It is important that in some way the people of Guatemala have justice and that the case does not go unpunished.”

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