Arrest warrants issued in Italy for Alex Saab, his wife and three of their relatives for money laundering

Camilla Fabri is a 28-year-old Italian former model, and is the wife of Alex Saab. She actively campaigns in Venezuela for her release (REUTERS / Leonardo Fernandez Viloria) (LEONARDO FERNANDEZ VILORIA /)

Roman Camilla Fabri is a 28-year-old former Italian model, and is the wife of Alex Saab, alleged figurehead of Nicolás Maduro who is today in prison in the United States. They are two of the five names on an arrest warrant issued by an investigating judge in Rome as a result of research on money laundering of the Monetary Unit of the Financial Police of Rome, coordinated by the prosecutor Francesco Cascini.

The other three people who are requested by justice are the husband of Fabri’s sister, lorenzo antonelliwho is abroad, and the woman’s two aunts, Arianna and Patrizia Fioreaged 47 and 45 respectively, the only ones present in Rome when the orders were issued.

As revealed by the run from it will beeveryone They are accused of criminal association and various causes of money laundering, self-laundering and fraudulent transfer of assets.

It is the conclusion of a complex investigation that began three years ago and that intertwines the scandal of humanitarian aid in Venezuela and the banks of countries willing to hide the immense capital of Saab, who allegedly seized part of the funds intended for humanitarian aid for the population and then hid them in Russia and in some tax havens.

Alex Saab would also have set up numerous companies through which he laundered illicit profits.

Alex Saab and Camilla Fabri-Colombia
In the image, Alex Saab, the Colombian businessman extradited to the United States, and his wife, Camilla Fabri

In October 2019, following an investigation by an Italian police unit specializing in finance, investigating judge Francesca Ciranna ordered the seizure of Fabri’s assets for the alleged crime of money laundering.

It is that the young Italian happened to be in the eye of the authorities after they detected that, With a declared monthly salary of 1,840 euros, he could afford luxuries such as paying 5,800 euros in rent per month and own a Range Rover Evoque vehicle valued at €54,500.

Those movements, having acquired a property of about five million euros, located on the fourth floor of Via Condottione of the most sophisticated streets in Rome, as well as 1.8 million euros in a current account opened in an Italian bankThey were clear indications that something was wrong.

This last sum is the equivalent of what Fabri’s two aunts would have pocketed for having acted as figureheads in an attempt to screen the illicit origin of the money, as the Italian newspaper was able to find out.

As for Antonelli, husband of Beatrice, Camilla’s sister, he is credited with a central role in the story of the apartment in via Condotti, summed up thus by the investigating judge at the time of the kidnapping: “From the contract it is deduced that Fabri has bought the right of residence for life for an amount of 4 million 275 thousand euros, while the bare property is acquired by the English company Kinloch Investments, represented by Lorenzo Antonelli, for a value of 475 thousand euros. Antonelli emerges as the owner of several companies, all with offices coinciding with Kinloch. But a survey of the English Chamber of Commerce shows that its share capital is entirely in the hands of Camilla Fabri”.

After a period in Russia, where the couple’s second child was born, Fabri is now in Venezuela, where she is publicly campaigning for her husband’s release.

Camilla Fabri (REUTERS/Leonardo Ferdandez Viloria)
Camilla Fabri (REUTERS/Leonardo Ferdandez Viloria) (LEONARDO FERNANDEZ VILORIA/)

Officials of the Maduro regime they consider Saab to be the victim of a “kidnapping” and have tried to rally popular support in Venezuela to demand his freedom. At the time of his arrest, they said he was on a humanitarian mission to Iran to negotiate the purchase of food, which has become more difficult to import as US sanctions have severed Venezuela’s ties to the Western financial system. , compounding an economic collapse marked by years of hyperinflation, blackouts and widespread shortages.

But as the case progresses, information has emerged that in the years leading up to his arrest, Saab disclosed to US authorities information about the bribes he paid to senior officials in the Maduro government.

More details about that cooperation with the US authorities were released on Wednesday, after the judge Robert Scola, who is presiding over the criminal case, removed the confidentiality seals from a procedural order he issued a year ago.while Saab sought to prevent his extradition to the United States.

According to the newly unsealed document, Saab and his lawyers met with DEA ​​and FBI agents in the Colombian capital in early 2016. On June 2, 2018, admitted to agents that he had paid bribes to government officials in exchange for housing contracts. less than a month later, on June 27, he became an “active informant”, which means that he probably received instructions from US officials. He also agreed to hand over the profits made from his shady dealings.

During a meeting with US prosecutors in Europe in April 2019, both sides discussed delivering Saab by May 30 of that year, according to a summary of the facts included in Scola’s five-page warrant.

But the deadline passed and Saab never showed up, ending all communication with US officials, according to court documents. He was charged a few weeks later.

(With information from AP)

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