Uruguayan drug trafficker Sebastián Marset has been accused of ordering the death of Paraguayan prosecutor Marcelo Pecci, who was murdered in May on the island of Barú, in the Colombian Caribbean, reported Colombian newspaper El Tiempo on Tuesday.
Marset, a 31-year-old man associated with the First Uruguayan Cartel (PCU) and head of a criminal organization in Paraguay dedicated to drug trafficking and money laundering, has been a fugitive from Uruguayan and Paraguayan justice since he received an Uruguayan passport that allowed him to leave Dubai.
Operation A Ultranza, carried out by Paraguay's National Anti-Drug Secretariat (Senad) in February 2022, revealed the power of Uruguayan Sebastián Marset, a 31-year-old associated with the so-called First Uruguayan Cartel and head of a criminal organization in Paraguay dedicated to drug trafficking and money laundering.
The organization led by Marset together with Paraguayan Miguel Ángel Insfrán was dismantled in Paraguay - where it had been operating since 2017 - in the operation that involved 107 raids and the seizure of more than $100 million, 98 properties, 28 vehicles, ten light aircraft, a helicopter, 12 carts, 41 tractors, 48 motorcycles, and seven boats. The organization had a laundering mechanism through soccer clubs and churches.
Read also: Killers of Paraguayan prosecutor convicted in Colombia
The Uruguayan weekly Búsqueda reported in March that the Foreign Ministry granted Marset an Uruguayan passport that would have allowed him to obtain his freedom in Dubai, a city in the United Arab Emirates, where he had been detained since September for carrying a false Paraguayan passport. He is now a fugitive from Paraguayan justice and is being investigated in several cases in Uruguay, although he is not wanted by the Uruguayan justice system.
Marset's name came to the attention of Justice after the statement of Francisco Correa Galeano, a 43-year-old man pointed out as the ideologist of Pecci's murder. According to this line of investigation, Marset's organization provided the money, logistics, and information to kill prosecutor Pecci, who on April 22, 2022, requested an arrest warrant for five of the seven Insfrán brothers.
In November 2021, the Uruguayan Foreign Ministry granted Marset a passport that allowed him to obtain his freedom in Dubai, where he had been detained since September for carrying a false Paraguayan passport. In March 2022, Undersecretary Guillermo Maciel explained to Subrayado that when the Uruguayan passport was issued to Marset, the requirement to check the applicant's international criminal record was not in effect. Maciel said that this requirement was repealed by a 2014 decree, so there was no legal impediment to deny the passport to the Uruguayan. As the newspaper learned, it was the lawyer Alejandro Balbi who did the paperwork and withdrew the passport.
In October 2013, an investigation coordinated between the Paraguayan Senate's Investigation Unit and Uruguay's DGRTID revealed that Marset was the recipient of the drugs transported by the uncle of former President Horacio Cartes, known as Papacho, in a light aircraft seized on July 29, 2012.
Linked to Venezuelan-Iranian plane
The Paraguayan justice system is looking for another Uruguayan close to Marset identified as Federico Ezequiel Santoro Vassallo, 43, who has been living in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay for some time. Santoro has a criminal record for human trafficking through his business activity linked to tourism.
He is now wanted by Paraguay's National Anti-Corruption Secretariat and the National Anti-Drug Secretariat for the murder of Paraguayan prosecutor Marcelo Pecci in Colombia and the Venezuelan-Iranian plane that continues to be held in Argentina.
Authorities were able to prove that Santoro was in charge of the transfer and lodging of the Venezuelan-Iranian crew that arrived in Paraguay before the trip to Argentina.
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