Monday, October 21, 2019
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ARGENTINA | 07-04-2019 15:56

Interpol in Belize arrest Argentina's 'King of Meat' on corruption charges

Alberto Samid is wanted in Argentina on charges of tax evasion, corruption and abuse of labour laws.

Argentina's "King of Meat", the businessman Alberto Samid, was arrested Friday in the tiny Caribbean nation of Belize after fleeing Argentina in late March.

Interpol issued a red alert against Samid, a former lawmaker in the Buenos Aires provincial legislature, after the Argentine court investigating his alleged tax evasion, corruption and abuse of labour laws learned he had fled the country.

"Interpol arrested Alberto Samid in Belize. Our policy is clear and transparent. Anyone who has any doubts about their legal situation must answer to the Judiciary. And our policy of international collaboration allows us to instantaneously know where they are," Argentina's Security Minister Patricia Bullrich tweeted.

"Samid could have avoided all of this if he had just dealt with the Judiciary but he chose to escape. The court and the prosecution on Wednesday determined they needed to locate him", she added.

The former director of the Central Market, in the west of Greater Buenos Aires, fled the country on March 24, according to the Security Ministry. He made a stop in Panamá before arriving to Belize on March 26.

Samid had told Argentine media last week he was somewhere "in a Peronist province" of the country.

He was arrested in the tiny city of San Pedro, in the south of Belize, which borders Mexico.

Authorities in Belize must now determine whether to expel the businessman or await an extradition request from Argentina.

ACCUSATIONS

Samid is wanted in Argentina on allegations of tax evasion, including having hired 80 people working without formal contracts.

He also stands accused of issuing cheques without funds, of using the Central Market logo for private business ventures and for an unpaid 500,000 peso debt and taxes on a commercial rental property.

Samid is renowned for having engaged in an on-air fist fight with prominent television presenter Mauro Viale in 2002, after Viale insuated Samid had celebrated the 1994 terrorist attack on the AMIA cultural centre.

-TIMES/PERFIL

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