After the death of Leandro Norero, alias the bossSeveral unofficial versions have been woven about the motive for his murder: that the attack in Latacunga was possibly directed at him, that it was a confrontation between members of the same gang, who were trying to silence him because of what he knows.
The incidents in the Latacunga prison left 16 dead and 43 injured between Monday and Tuesday. The authorities have only referred to outline that the issue goes through a dispute between criminal gangs.
The truth is that Norero’s death leaves open a series of questions in a key month for the processes that were being handled against him.
Within the court system, the pattern rregistered in this 2022 three open processes for illicit trafficking in firearms, money laundering and organization or financing for the production or illicit trafficking of substances scheduled for control.
After forensic analysis in Ambato, Police confirm the death of Leandro Norero
In the money laundering process, the call for the evaluative and preparatory trial hearing had already been set. Once the Prosecutor’s Office ordered the closing of the fiscal investigation, the hearing was set for October 13, at 09:30. And for the case of organization or financing for the illicit production or trafficking of substances scheduled for inspection, the judge had convened for October 3, at 10:30, the formulation of charges. In other words, the hearing was scheduled for the exact day of Norero’s death.
In these cases, Norero was not the only one involved. Two of his brothers, his wife and even his mother have been singled out. In addition, there is a group of companies where he was listed as a director and which are believed to have been created as a front for money laundering.
Dead Norero, what will happen with the judicial processes?
Leandro Norero, a former gang member who evaded authorities and set up a group of companies to apparently launder assets
Jorge Haz, trial lawyer and university professor, explained that with Norero’s death the investigation ends for him, but it continues for the others involved.
The specialist indicated that article 416 of the COIP contemplates the extinction of the exercise of criminal action when the death of the accused person occurs. In this case, Norero did not yet have a conviction, but rather he was being prosecuted.
The others involved, for example, in the case of money laundering, must continue to be prosecuted even when Norero is dead. This crime is investigated when a person directly or indirectly has, acquires, transfers, possesses, manages assets of illicit origin.
Haz indicated that it should be determined if people linked to Norero, who have been involved in the process, could engage in these behaviors.
In these open cases there are also millionaires involved in assets that were seized as part of the investigations.
In May, when the operations were carried out, the Prosecutor’s Office reported that 42 gold bars, 6.4 million dollars, 8.9 million pesos, 155,000 euros, 101 pieces of jewelry, 74 watches from different luxury brands, 4 weapons, 7 video circuits, cards, bottles of high-end liquor and bank documents.
The seizure of these assets was not without controversy. Days after a judge decided to return the pets seized from Leandro Norero, a judge from La Concordia also decided to return the house.
The house in question would be in the name of Norero’s wife, it is located in an urbanization at kilometer 8.5 of Av. Samborondon. Its value would be $2.4 million and at least $6 million in cash, gold bars and other items were found inside the property when the search occurred almost a month ago.
In June, in an extraordinary session, the plenary session of the Judiciary Council unanimously decided to suspend Judge Ángel L., of the La Concordia Multicompetent Unit, who ordered the return of the house that was seized from Leandro Norero.
What will happen to the assets with the death of Norero?
They seize gold bars in an operation for alleged money laundering; captured had faked his death to extinguish criminal action
Haz argued that the crime and the participation that must be connected to other facts must be determined. He said that article 557 of the COIP establishes that the judge, when issuing a final resolution, will decide on the seizure.
“In the event that it is said that Mr. Norero did not have any participation, he will return the assets to the heirs who have to justify ownership of the asset, but let us remember that here there is a joint investigation and for the crime of money laundering, the related participation of having obtained these assets for other illicit activities will lead to them being kept safe by the State administrator,” he explained. (YO)