Chilean court indicts 2 ex-consuls for suspected migrant trafficking

CHILE CORRUPTION | 11 de enero de 2019

Santiago, Jan 11 (efe-epa).- The Chilean Judiciary System indicted Friday the diplomats Frank Sinclair, former consul in Cordoba, Argentina, and Gustavo Cantuarias, ex-consul in Dublin and New Delhi.

Both of the accused appeared in a Santiago court for a hearing in which preventive measures were decreed against both and against another three involved in the case.

In that court procedure, the accused were barred from leaving the country for the next six months as the investigation develops, and must appear regularly to sign in.

Both diplomats were dismissed from their positions last Dec. 17 under orders to return to Chile to face the judicial case brought against them for presumably issuing false student visas to 196 Indian and Nepalese citizens, of whom 192 traveled to the Southern Cone country using that documentation.

With regard to the case, Chilean Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero said Friday that his ministry "has zero tolerance for such an irregularity."

"Consuls offer a service to Chileans abroad, and must fulfill that task to the best of their ability," Ampuero said.

At the same time, the Chilean foreign minister said the administration provided the Judiciary System with all the available information to aid the investigation, while confirming that the Foreign Ministry will pursue its own internal inspection.

"What interests the Foreign Ministry and this minister is respect for the principles of integrity. We are convinced that the immense majority of civil servants working here fulfill that duty. And when irregular situations occur, they must be investigated with the procedures of the ministry and also, if merited, by the Judiciary System," Ampuero said.

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