The court finds Arturo Murillo guilty of conspiracy to commit money laundering and sentences him to 70 months in prison.

A federal court in the United States has sentenced former Bolivian interior minister Arturo Murillo to nearly six years in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

Murillo pleaded guilty in October to receiving at least $532,000 in bribes from a Florida-based company in exchange for winning a lucrative tear gas contract with the Bolivian Defense Ministry.

He had laundered the money through the US financial system, the department said.

Murillo was sentenced to 70 months in prison by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Another former Bolivian official and three Americans were convicted in the US last June after also pleading guilty to roles in the same scheme, the department said.

Murillo, a former senator, served as interior minister between 2019 and 2020 during the interim government of President Jeanine Anez, which came to power following political unrest that led to President Evo Morales resigning and leaving the country.

Murillo fled after Morales’ party retook power in 2020 and was arrested in Florida in May 2021.

The government of Bolivia has requested Murillo’s extradition to Bolivia, where he faces numerous criminal charges.

Bolivian Attorney General Wilfredo Chavez said in a press conference that Murillo’s conviction would advance extradition proceedings and that the government would take legal action to obtain $532,000 “as a victim” of Murillo’s crime.

“Justice has spoken in the United States. We are satisfied with this court decision and are committed to legal action [of extradition]’ said Chavez.

Murillo’s former boss Anez is serving a 10-year prison sentence for her role in what Bolivian authorities say was a coup that forced Morales from office in 2019.



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