Nuns Call Cops On Argentine Ex-Minister Trying To Stash Millions In Monastery

Photo: REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Former Argentine Public Works Minister Jose Lopez was caught by nuns trying to sneak millions in cash into their Argentine monastery Tuesday.

Concerned nuns called the police when they reported seeing plastic bags launched into their monastery from the street. The bags were being thrown by now-disgraced Lopez, who served in the government of Socialist President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who was in power from December, 2007, to December, 2015.

Lopez had millions in cash and seemed ready to travel anywhere in the world, since many of the world’s currencies were represented in his stash: dollars, euros, yen, and Qatari riyal.

Police initially justified the arrest of Lopez for illegally carrying a 22. caliber rifle before they ultimately found the cash and some luxury watches, according to BBC News. The cash was divided up into four plastic bags as well as a suitcase that was still in the former minister’s car, according to Argentine daily La Nacion.

Lopez is now being investigated for money laundering as a part of President Maurico Macri’s crackdown on government corruption. Conservative Macri came to power in December. His Corruption Minister Laura Alonso was moved to tears in a December interview discussing the corruption of the Kirchner administration.

Presidential Chief of Staff Marcos Pena told the press the whole fiasco seemed as if it were “from a movie.” A lawyer for Lopez said her client “has panic attacks” and “hears voices and has hallucinations,” which is what prompted the allegedly corrupt former official to be moved to a hospital since his arrest.

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