Prosecutor files charges against Cataño for money laundering

A prosecutor in Peru’s southern Tacna department has pressed charges against the owner of Peruvian Airlines, Cesar Cataño, for money laundering, Ideeleradio reported.

The charges are based on a report by the counter-narcotics police, who found that Cataño cannot account for personal assets totalling $42 million.  The investigation also includes his mother, Maria Porras, two sisters, an aunt and 10 other people, as well as his 10 companies, which include the airline and a car import company.

Cataño, who changed his name from Adolfo Carhuallanqui Porras, has denied connections to drug trafficking and said he would not flee if he faced charges.

“Why would I take flight? Am I a thief? Am I a crook? Am I a narco? No, I am a working man, I work for my family,” said Cataño. “I don’t have anything to do with drug trafficking, I haven’t even taken drugs.”

Cataño’s alleged involvement in the drug trade received additional attention during the election for Lima’s mayor. Former congresswoman and mayoral candidate Lourdes Flores, who was narrowly defeated by Susana Villaran in the October 3 election, had worked as Cataño’s defense attorney in a case involving the importation of used vehicles.   Flores went on to chair the board of his airline company.

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