Guatemala arrests prominent executive on suspicion of tax fraud

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemalan police have arrested the head of one of the country’s biggest hotel chains on suspicion of tax fraud, prosecutors said on Sunday, part of a wider drive against corruption in the Central American nation.

Carlos Enrique Monteros Castillo, owner of the local Camino Real chain, was arrested on Saturday night at the Guatemala City airport, while another executive from the same group was detained in a house raid, the attorney general’s office said.

Monteros and Oscar Humberto Jimenez Contreras are suspected of having evaded some $2.8 million in taxes, authorities said.

Neither man was immediately available for comment.

Led by a U.N.-backed anti-graft body known as the CICIG, investigators in Guatemala have cast a wide net to root out corruption, making dozens of arrests and turning the political establishment upside down in the process.

In September, a CICIG fraud probe brought about the impeachment and arrest of then-President Otto Perez.

Perez and his former vice-president, Roxana Baldetti, are in prison pending trial for allegedly fronting a multi-million dollar customs fraud. Both have denied any wrongdoing.

Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Editing by Paul Simao