A union boss suspected of tax evasion and money laundering has been arrested at his mansion in Punta del Este, Uruguay, where police found luxury cars, weapons and US$500 thousand in cash.
Marcelo Balcedo is the owner of the newspaper Hoy, based in La Plata, and the general secretary of the Minority and Educational Workers and Employees Union (SOEME).
Federal judge Ernesto Kreplak laid the charges and put out an international arrest warrant for Balcedo and his wife.
Uruguayan Police located the couple at their Punta del Este property where they seized a significant sum of money and weapons.
The courts plan to delve into the bank accounts of SOEME in search of laundered cash, and questions are being asked about the union boss’ ability to afford such a luxurious lifestyle.
The AFIP tax office alerted the authorities of SOEME’s activities after registering 53 million pesos in cash withdrawals from 2012 to 2013.
Balcedo is no stranger to trouble. In 2007, he remained briefly on the run after he was charged with extorting provincial lawmakers for favours.