GUATEMALA CITY – Sandra Patricia Vega, a Colombian citizen who is a representative for Puerto Rican singer Chayanne, was released from jail in Guatemala, but she is still under investigation for alleged money laundering, a defense attorney said Sunday.
A criminal judge in Guatemala City agreed to conditionally release Vega on Saturday, her attorney Byron Carrillo said.
The judge agreed to allow a Guatemalan, whose identity was not revealed, to act as Vega’s “guarantor,” while the Treasury is investigating the case and determining if sufficient evidence exists against her to initiate trial proceedings or whether the case should be closed, the lawyer said.
A criminal magistrate before whom Vega initially appeared had rejected the idea of releasing her because she is a foreigner and had ordered her to remain in prison for the two months the Treasury has to conduct its investigation.
The 57-year-old Vega was arrested on Thursday at La Aurora International Airport when she was surprised by security forces carrying $50,000 in cash in her baggage as she prepared to board a commercial flight for Costa Rica.
Vega tried “to bribe the officers” who captured her, and the judge added attempted bribery to the charge of money laundering on which she was being held, the Civil National Police, or PNC, said.
“This was a bad administrative procedure,” but not a crime because documents exist that prove that the funds Vega was intending to take out of the country were the earnings from a concert offered on Wednesday by Chayanne, Carrillo said.
The concert was given in the Guatemalan capital by Chayanne along with fellow Puerto Rican Marc Anthony and Colombia’s Carlos Vives.
The three singers performed onstage in the eastern part of Guatemala City as part of the Gigant3s Tour.