Customs raised 22 million pesos for the auction of alcoholic beverages, such as whiskey and tequila from international brands, seized in the cause of the Container Mafia.
This figure is added to the more than $ 100 million of merchandise donated to charities and found in the 900 containers kidnapped by the former head of Customs Juan José Gómez Centurión and investigated by Aguinsky and the prosecutor’s office called PROCELAC. The case was revealed by Clarion.
Still lack open 500 of those containers that were hired in 2015 and were discovered a year later in the port of Buenos Aires. Due to the pandemic, there are not enough Customs employees for the task, according to official sources. Alcoholic beverages cannot be donated.
This week, 42 of the 51 lots offered by Banco Ciudad were auctioned. Judicial sources explained that those who were left unsold they were very large batches. Customs only base what they should pay as tariffs to import them. The remainder will be re-auctioned in smaller lots. .
The base value of the 42 lots sold at the time the auction began was $ 9,729,585. So the sale was for a price “130% higher” than baseCustoms sources commented.
In this case, the economic criminal judge Marcelo Aguinsky last week prosecuted businessman Diego Vestillero for the attempted smuggling of 76 containers whose content is worth about 20 million dollars and seized in total for more than 1,200 million pesos. The measure is without preventive detention but with a ban on leaving the country.
Vestillero was already processed in the Aguinsky court for another smuggling attempt in the framework of other cases of the Contendores mafia. In addition, Vestillero appeared as the alleged plaintiff in the open case against the false lawyer Marcelo D’Alessio before federal judge Alejo Ramos Padilla.
Last year, the Economic Criminal Appeals Chamber confirmed the prosecutions of Vestillero and Ambika. And in the case of one of those 900 containers, Gabriel Garcés and Víctor Palomino Zitta were also prosecuted. Palomino Zitta is a fugitive in the case and with a request for Interpol’s arrest by the oral court that has the case. Garcés and Palomino Zitta were also cited in their measures by the former judge of Dolores and current judge of La Plata.
In the processing of Vestillero Aguinsky, he explained what smuggling implies: “There is no doubt, from what has been said, that at the moment these merchandise are finally dispatched to the market, they enter a production and marketing chain absolutely ‘in the black’, at which point all the additional damages derived from their illegal entry into the country become apparent ”.
“It is generated like this, an ad hoc ‘Tax Paradise’ for the true owners of the merchandise, who after managing to evade customs control, agree to handle their products outside the reach of the local tax authorities. This is so, because the commercial transactions of which those items are the object could never be made transparent without revealing their previous unregistered acquisition, “added the magistrate, who is attacked by the sectors harmed in their causes. Many of the Chinese textile merchandise had a label that read “Made in Argentina”, when in fact they had been made in China.
Then he said that “all those successive commercial operations are carried out outside of tax control, thus generating a kind of ‘continuing damage’ against the collection and the public treasury”.
In the Container Mafia case, 900 shipments were seized. By the sum of all the cases accumulated in the file filed in the Aguinsky court there are more than 150 processed and seizures and inhibitions of assets were issued for more than 158 billion pesoss. There were also convicted persons such as Julio De Vido’s brother-in-law, Claudio “El Mono” Minniceli.
On the other hand, in a case that registered the same modes of operation called the Aguinsky Customs Mafia, it prosecuted several businessmen including the Paolantonio brothers, but their prosecutions have been appealed before the court for several months. The case of the Customs Mafia was investigated by the former journalist from Clarion Matías Longoni.