‘Ghost Memo’: Colombian businessman accused of being a phantom narco is captured | International

Guillermo Acevedo Giraldo in front of a building on the corner of Almagro and Zurbarán streets, in the Chamberí district of Madrid. Image courtesy of InSight Crime.

The Colombian businessman, Guillermo Acevedo, identified by the prosecution as a drug lord who had been in the shadows for years, has been captured in Bogotá this Friday. Better known as ‘Ghost Memo’, he has been identified by several paramilitaries as one of their commanders who, after the demobilization of several of them, would have managed to vanish and disguise himself as a builder.

Although he had a residence in Madrid (Spain), he was arrested in the El Nogal neighborhood, in the north of the Colombian capital. Acevedo, 49, must answer for the crimes of illicit enrichment, money laundering and aggravated conspiracy to commit a crime.

The Police and the Prosecutor’s Office simultaneously detained two people close to him in the departments of Antioquia and Córdoba, in the north of the country. They are pointed out to be their front men. In July 2020, the Prosecutor’s Office had ordered a process for the extinction of ownership of a farm in Acevedo, worth 9,000 million pesos (two million euros). According to the newspaper TimeHe was traveling in a high-end van, with dark glass and a shotgun and 43 9-millimeter cartridges were found in his home.

Hacienda Las Vegas, a property of Guillermo Acevedo Giraldo in Buenavista, Colombia, seized by the authorities of that country following an investigation that suggests that he is a drug trafficker hiding in Madrid, Spain.
Hacienda Las Vegas, a property of Guillermo Acevedo Giraldo in Buenavista, Colombia, seized by the authorities of that country following an investigation that suggests that he is a drug trafficker hiding in Madrid, Spain.ATTORNEY GENERAL OF COLOMBIA

The identity of Memo Fantasma was revealed by the American organization InSight Crime, co-directed by journalist Jeremy McDermott. After a two-year investigation, McDermott managed to locate him in Madrid, where he was engaged in the real estate business. The journalistic investigation also denounced that Álvaro Rincón, husband of the vice president of Colombia and foreign minister, Marta Lucía Ramírez, had real estate deals with him.

At that time, the Attorney General’s Office called the vice president’s husband to report on the relationship with Acevedo. Both Rincón and she, a member of the real estate company at the time of the transaction, denied knowing of Acevedo’s illicit activities. Faced with the revelations, the vice president sued the journalist but a day later withdrew from the lawsuit.

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According to sources from EL PAÍS, Acevedo arrived in Spain in 2015 and lived in the La Moraleja urbanization, but he also had a 432-meter duplex in Chamberí, valued at 2.4 million euros. In the Spanish capital he used his real name and registered both properties. He also presented himself as a real estate business entrepreneur in Bogotá.

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