Marcelo Balcedo, head of the SOEME union (the union that represents workers and employees who execute tasks related with education and in direct contact with minors) and the editor of the Hoy newspaper, was arrested today in Punta del Este, Uruguay. Along with his wife Paola Fliege, he was arrested in relation to a money-laundering investigation lead by Federal Judge Ernesto Kreplak.
An international arrest warrant was issued on Christmas Day.
Télam has cited judicial sources which said that Balcedo was arrested “in a luxury home in Punta del Este, where automatic weapons, a lot of money in cash and luxury cars were also found.” An extradition request will be prepared in the coming days so that Balcedo can eventually be transferred to Argentina for interrogation.
Balcedo is under investigation for cash withdrawals from the SOEME’s bank account amounting to more than 53 million pesos from 2012 to 2013.
Infobae has reported that when he was arrested, Balcedo had US$ 500,000 in cash as well as a Glock 9mm, a revolver, and a replica of a AR 15 assault rifle. Among the cars that have been seized by the authorities, there was a Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz with Uruguayan license plates, as well as a Porsche and a Chevrolet Camaro. Only the Porsche was registered in Fliege’s name, whereas the other cars, cash and house had not been declared to the AFIP.
An article in La Plata-based Hoy newspaper describing the arrested called it a “ferocious assault on the freedom of expression.”