- The Washington Times - Friday, December 16, 2005

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents yesterday returned to Guatemala the son of the nation’s former customs director, who is accused of conspiring with his father to embezzle millions of dollars from that country’s government.

Junior Vinicio Abadio-Carrillo, 32, arrested Oct. 18 by ICE agents in Los Angeles on charges of illegally entering the United States, is wanted in Guatemala on embezzlement and money laundering charges in connection with a scheme that led to the theft of more than $5 million from that country’s government.

ICE spokesman Dean Boyd said Abadio-Carrillo was removed from the United States by ICE detention-and-removal officers on board a Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System flight. On arriving in Guatemala City, he was turned over to Guatemalan authorities.

“This is possible due to the fight against corruption that the administration of President [Oscar] Berger is implementing and the close cooperation that exists between the governments of Guatemala and the United States of America in bringing before the law those persons who have any legal processes pending,” said Guillermo Castillo, the Guatemalan ambassador to the United States.

Mr. Boyd said ICE agents in California began an investigation into Abadio-Carrillo after the ICE attache in Guatemala City received a request from Guatemalan officials to assist with the case and apprehend Abadio-Carrillo on locating him in the United States.

The spokesman said Abadio-Carrillo faces charges of helping his father, Marco Tulio Abadio-Molina, the former director of Guatemala’s Tax and Customs Authority, embezzle and launder more than $5 million from the Guatemalan government.

Mr. Boyd said Abadio-Carrillo fled the country and entered the United States illegally last year. ICE agents arrested him at his Glendale, Calif., residence on Oct. 18, 2005, without incident, stopped by agents as he drove his car in a modest residential neighborhood where he had lived since entering the country.

Law-enforcement authorities said they received a tip about Abadio-Carrillo’s whereabouts from a newspaper story in Guatemala. He reportedly was working at a firm duplicating DVDs into Spanish. The father has been held in a Guatemalan jail since last year.

“We will not allow the United States to be a haven for those who have looted the treasuries of foreign governments,” said John Torres, acting director of ICE’s Office of Detention and Removal. “This case demonstrates ICE’s commitment to track down international fugitives and help our foreign law-enforcement partners bring them to justice.”

ICE formally removed more than 300,000 aliens in fiscal 2004 and 2005. More than half of those were criminal aliens.

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