Sunday, 25 October 2020

Nicaragua Court Finds Costa Rica Model Guilty of Money Laundering

Costa Rica model Kathia Adriana Corella in court. Photo El Nuevo Diario, Nicaragua

QCOSTARICA – Costa Rican model Kathia Adriana Corella Rojas and other members of the Cacique criminal gang were convicted in Nicaragua for drug trafficking, money laundering and organized crime.

On Wednesday, a Managua (Nicaragua) court, headed by Judge Octavio Rothschuh, made the ruling.

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According to the indictment presented by the prosecution, the 25 year-old model was in charge of receiving and safekeeping the group’s money.

Corella being escorted to and from the courtroom. Photo El Nuevo Diario, Nicaragua

The prosecution requested a prison term of six years for Corella, for the crime of money laundering and another six for racketeering. For its part, the Nicaragua Attorney General’s is calling for 12 years in prison for money laundering and seven for organized crime.

Corella’s defence attorney said the evidence presented a trial does not link her to all the crimes, and is asking for the minimum sentence of five years on money laundering and five for organized crime.

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Adriana Corella, in court during trial. Photo El Nuevo Diario
Adriana Corella, in court during trial. Photo El Nuevo Diario, Nicaragua

A sentencing hearing will be held in the coming days.

Corrella was nabbed in Nicaragua on December 3, 2015 (and held in preventive detention since) when police captured the criminal group, seizing 285 kilograms of cocaine hidden in the fuel tanks of tractor trailers, US$871,000 dollars in cash and a pick-up truck, among other items that included guns and real estate.

Nicaragua’s Ministerio Publico accused the defendants, that included Corella and two other Costa Ricans, Gustavo Adolfo Artavia, driver of one of the trucks and José Castillo, driver of the pick up truck carrying the cash. The latter two pleaded guilty last May in Nicaragua to the crimes of international transport of narcotics, organized crime and money laundering.

According to authorities, Corella had a relationship with a man identified as Wálter Mauricio Pereira Castillo, a Costa Rican national resident of Alajuela, alleged to be the head of the criminal group. Pereira is believed to the father of Corella’s five year-old daughter.

The couple had been in Nicaragua for a month when they were surprised by the police action. Pereira managed escaped capture, taking off to the couple’s home in Santa Monica, a high-end Managua community, pursued by police, where he committed suicide.

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Judge Rothschuch also found guilty the Guatemalan national, Llendy Perez, and three Nicaraguans, Carlos Carbonero, Ninoska Bonilla and Aryilia Bonilla, all linked to the “Los Zetas” Mexican drug cartel.

Corella caught the attention of journalists with her revealing style during trial. All photos from El Nuevo Diario, Nicarauga

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