After his arrest last night in Paraguay, a video showing Jorge Oscar Chueco, a lawyer with close ties to businessman Lázaro Báez and a suspect in the “K Money Trail” laundering case, was released showing him being interrogated by Paraguayan police. Chueco had gone missing on April 14th and was arrested for not carrying any form of identity on his person and having entered illegally into Paraguay. He will be transferred to the City of Buenos Aires today.
In the video published by press in Posadas, the capital of Misiones Province, you can see Chueco defending himself before a police officer. Let’s just say that his arguments are a little weak: while the police accuse him of entering Paraguay illegally, Chueco claims that his papers were stolen. In addition, the police clarify that he had exceeded the 50 kilometer limit permitted to travel without presenting papers into Paraguayan territory from Brazil. Chueco’s response is “I respect your opinion, so I ask that you respect mine.”
“I came into Paraguay, not with my [DNI] because it got stolen. I didn’t register with my DNI because I [crossed the border] like everybody else does,” Chueco stated, getting visibly more confused as the police and Paraguayan Border Patrol persist with questions.
This was probably due to the fact that at the time of Chueco’s arrest — and upon inspection of his hotel room — police found an empty bottle of wine and a plastic pill wrapper for medication, clonazepam, which was also empty. Liliana Galeano, the prosecutor in the case for Chueco’s arrest who carried out the inspection, noted that Chueco was “very dizzy” when he was apprehended.
In an interview with La 110, Galeano also elaborated on Chueco’s stay at the luxurious hotel, in which he registered under a fake name.
“The hotel has apartments in a tower and next to it, the hotel proper. Chueco thought that the apartments […] were part of the hotel and asked for the highest apartment. The hotel’s highest floor is the third floor,” explained Galeano. The hypothesis is that, after taking clonazepam and wine, Chueco was planning to throw himself off that third floor.
“The one who actually saved his life is the concierge, who happened to be watching the security cameras and saw that [Chueco] was walking as if he was dizzy. He followed [Chueco] with the camera and saw that he was leaning forward as if to jump. That’s when he called the other concierges for help and they went to save him.”
Why is Chueco so important? Chueco was allegedly the “legal brains” behind the money laundering scheme headed by Lázaro Báez. He bought SGI, known as “La Rosadita,” a financial company through which Lázaro Báez would have allegedly laundered money in and out of Argentina, and then transferred the shares to a Swiss company. He was supposed to testify before Judge Casanello regarding the investigation this week.
There were many conjectures and hypotheses regarding Chueco’s whereabouts and the reasons for his disappearance. His wife believed that he was in danger while the Misiones Province police had disregarded the suicide hypothesis. Others, such as Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, thought he had escaped in order to avoid facing the justice system.
Over the course of today, Chueco is set to be transferred to the City of Buenos Aires, where federal Judge Sebastián Casanello — who presides over the Lázaro Báez Case — will decide how to proceed.