Colombian President Gustavo Petro’s son, Nicolas Petro, has been arrested on charges of money laundering and illicit enrichment, according to the country’s attorney general. Nicolas Petro, a politician in Atlantico province, is accused of receiving payments from drug traffickers to fund his father’s peace efforts and election campaign. The younger Mr. Petro has denied the allegations and welcomed the investigation when it was initiated. His ex-wife, Daysuris del Carmen Vásquez, has also been arrested as part of the probe.

President Petro, the country’s first left-wing leader, has denied accepting money from drug traffickers and urged prosecutors to investigate his son earlier this year. He stated on social media that it is painful to see one of his children in prison but asserted that he would not interfere with the investigation.

The attorney general’s office has revealed that the allegations against Nicolas Petro are linked to illegal contributions diverted from his father’s election campaign last year. Both Nicolas and his former wife, Daysuris del Carmen Vásquez, are being transferred from the Caribbean coast to Colombia’s capital, Bogotá.

Daysuris del Carmen Vásquez has previously made claims in local media that her former husband received substantial amounts of money from drug cartels during last year’s political campaign, which eventually led to Gustavo Petro’s victory in the presidential election.

President Petro’s efforts towards peace have been central to his campaign promises, aiming to negotiate deals with Colombia’s notorious armed rebel groups and drug cartels. These efforts have seen mixed results in his first year in office. While a negotiated ceasefire with the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group is set to begin in August, talks with the major crime gang, the Clan del Golfo, have failed due to ongoing violence.

The arrest of Nicolas Petro underscores the seriousness of money laundering issues in Colombia and highlights the importance of robust anti-money laundering measures for businesses operating in the region. As the financial landscape continues to evolve, adopting advanced AML solutions becomes imperative to prevent financial crimes and uphold compliance standards.