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And, yes, I DO take it personally: U.S. issues indictments for crimes committed in Argentina? Help me out here...
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Thursday, December 20, 2007

U.S. issues indictments for crimes committed in Argentina? Help me out here...

seriously, help me out here... i posted on this story back in early october, even though it occurred in early august... (yeah, sometimes i'm a bit slow... so sue me...!)

from the washington post...

Days after authorities discovered a suitcase full of nearly $800,000 that had been taken on a private airplane carrying Argentine and Venezuelan officials, one of those officials has resigned and suspicions of a government scandal have grown.

A Venezuelan businessman was detained at a Buenos Aires airport Saturday when customs officials found $790,550 in undeclared cash in his luggage. The incident preceded Monday’s arrival here of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, leading to questions about the possibility of a link between the businessman and the Venezuelan or Argentine governments.

Aeropuerto Internacional Ezeiza, Buenos Aires

ANYWAYZ, i've been following the story excerpted below for the past week, figuring it was going to cause some heartburn for officials in both argentina and venezuela, and, sure enough, it has...
A U.S. grand jury indicted four Venezuelans and a Uruguayan on Thursday on charges of acting as unregistered foreign agents for Venezuela who allegedly tried to cover up a scheme to smuggle $800,000 in cash to Argentina.

The indictment formalizes charges brought last week when four of the five were arrested in connection with the case, which touched off corruption allegations in South America and diplomatic tensions between Washington and Buenos Aires.

U.S. prosecutors say the men represented the anti-U.S. government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and alleged in court that one of the defendants said the money was destined for the campaign of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who won Argentina's presidential election in October.


The Venezuelan-American businessman accused of trying to smuggle the $800,000 in a suitcase into Argentina visited the presidential palace two days after the incident, an Argentine prosecutor said on Thursday.

The money was seized by Argentine customs in August.

The case has caused an uproar in Argentine. Chavez has accused Washington of seeking to undermine Argentine-Venezuelan relations, while Washington says its probe is not politically motivated.

Prosecutor Maria Luz Rivas Diez said a former Argentine government employee testified the man with the suitcase, Guido Antonini Wilson, visited Argentina's presidential palace two days after the money was confiscated.

"Apparently he was with other people at a sort of toast or celebration, while in another office an accord was being signed with Venezuela," Rivas Diez told Radio Del Plata.

Argentine government officials, who allowed Antonini to leave the country but now seek his extradition from the United States to question him about possible money laundering, did not immediately comment.

The case -- dubbed the "suitcase scandal" by Argentine media -- erupted after Antonini carried the cash on a private jet chartered by Argentina's government to ferry Argentine and Venezuelan officials from Caracas to Buenos Aires.


On Wednesday, Argentina's Congress, in which Fernandez's center-left coalition holds a majority, passed a resolution condemning the United States over the investigation.

Fernandez, a former first lady and senator, succeeded her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, who has publicly accused Washington of engineering a smear campaign against his wife.

now, HERE'S my big question... where does the u.s. get off indicting these guys for a crime that DIDN'T EVEN TAKE PLACE INSIDE THE U.S...? anyone...?

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