USA

Ex-Ecuadorian President Detained in New Criminal Probe

Police have detained former Ecuadorian President Abdala Bucaram for the second time in two months, this time in an organized crime probe.

Ecuadorian Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo told a local radio station that Bucaram was arrested at his home in the port city of Guayaquil on Wednesday as part of investigation into whether he is linked to the murder of an Israeli man jailed in a possible COVID-19 medical supply scandal.

So far, Bucaram has not been charged in connection to the inmate's death at the Litoral Penitentiary in Guayaquil on Saturday.

In June, Bucaram was detained for a time following a raid on his home in an investigation into the sale of COVID-19 medical supplies to hospitals.

Authorities seized thousands of face masks and coronavirus antibody rapid test kits.

A gun and artwork were also seized, and Bucaram was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and state-owned sculptures.

Bucaram's three adult sons are being sought in connection with the inquiry into sale of overpriced medical supplies to hospitals.

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