Police today raided the house of Walter Carbone, a former official who worked for Daniel Scioli, who was governor of Buenos Aires province between 2007 and 2015, and found a safe hidden inside a metal sculpture of a dragon. No, this is not a joke. It is, however, a clever way to hide valuables. I mean I couldn’t have come up with it even if I wanted to—I’m not that creative.
The story does not end as fun as it starts though because the safe ended up being empty.
The raid was ordered by Federal prosecutor Álvaro Garganta as part of a case that was launched when lawmaker Elisa “Lilita” Carrió formally accused Scioli and several other high-ranking officials of embezzling more than AR$20 billion over the last two years of his administration.
During the Scioli administration, Carbone was the general director for the Cabinet Chief’s office. He certainly handled a lot of cash as his main job was to distribute funds between the different ministries.
According to Carrió, part of these embezzled funds were used to fund Scioli’s presidential campaign from last year, and Carbone’s house was allegedly the place where this ill-gotten money was distributed to pay for the campaign’s expenses. Although Carrió’s writ makes clear that Carbone was not among the funds’ recipients, it does state that he approved passing off campaign expenses as daily administration costs.
Officials from the Scioli administration denied any wrongdoing. “It’s good that the judiciary is moving forward. It’d also be very good if they didn’t prejudge and smear the good name and honor of a transparent administration,” Scioli’s former Cabinet Chief, Alberto Pérez, said.
In terms of Hollywood blockbuster potential, it seems nothing can beat the former Public Works Secretary José López throwing bags of cash in the middle of the night into a convent that turned out to not be a convent. Still, if there was a story that could even try to make it to the same category as López’s, it surely had to involve a metal dragon. A for effort.