SANTIAGO, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The former commander-in-chief of the Chilean army, General Juan Miguel Fuente-Alba, has bought a car collection worth 466 million pesos (around 730,000 U.S. dollars), the country's judiciary said Saturday.
The prosecutor for Chile's Central-Northern region, Jose Morales, told the Seventh Guarantee Court of Santiago about this accusation, as the court debated whether the matter should be handled by the prosecutor-general or by a military tribunal.
According to Morales, several infractions have been detected which could be linked to money laundering.
The first allegedly happened in 2005, when Fuente-Alba, then the director of the country's military school, "received 18 million pesos (25,000 U.S. dollars) from a person running a laundry in the military school." This payment came in the form of an Audi car bought at the Klassik Car distributor in Santiago.
The second allegedly happened in 2013 "for the motive of the marriage of one of Fuente-Alba's daughters, he paid for a banquet for the sum of 36 million pesos (56,000 U.S. dollars)."
After the fact "a large part of this amount, at least half, was cancelled based on the deposits on cash made on the account of the banquet organizer," explained Morales.
The prosecutor then accused the general of ordering two banquets for the military, worth a combined 7 million pesos (11,000 U.S. dollars), paid for by army funds in order to get a discount on his daughter's wedding.
Morales said that between 2005 and 2013, Fuente-Alba bought a total of 16 cars worth a combined 466 million pesos (around 730,000 U.S. dollars).
Fuente-Alba's defence attorney, Joanna Heskia, responded to the accusation, saying that the prosecutor had incomplete information on the first matter.
In terms of the banquets, she said that "there were two dinners paid for by the army ... in the house of the commander-in-chief. They were not personal dinners to test the banquet provider but were related to (army) protocol."