A Colombian government employee is facing criminal charges for allegedly recruiting foreign exchange students in a scheme to profit from the country’s low inflation.
The alleged recruiter, Manuel Antonio Ruiz-Pinto, 51, allegedly lured students in Colombia with a $1,000 salary, $150 for a semester and a $50 stipend for a year, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
Ruiz-Ginto, who worked for Colombia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.
Colombia’s attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ruisginto allegedly recruited foreign exchange student students at the age of 16 and 17 to work as his personal assistant, a job that pays $5,000 a month and includes $300 for a room, the Colombian Daily said on Wednesday.
The government said he paid them $300 per month to work for him in exchange for teaching them English.
In a separate case, a judge said on Tuesday that a former Colombian national, who was born in the country, who fled to Brazil, may face criminal charges.
The attorney general said Jorge Jose Reyes, a Colombian national who was living in Rio de Janeiro, was arrested by police in the city of Mato Grosso do Sul on Tuesday after being accused of smuggling $1.7 million from Brazil into the country through Colombia.
The former national, an employee of the countrys Ministry of Economy and Trade, allegedly used his position to bribe foreign exchange exchange students for work, the attorney general alleged.
He is accused of paying the students $500 a month for teaching and working as a personal assistant.
In another case, the government said the former deputy president of Colombia’s leftist government, Juan Manuel Santos, will face criminal and administrative charges in the case of allegedly illegally recruiting foreign student workers, the Daily reported.