El Salvador ex-officials, businessmen under investigation in $184 mln corruption case

SAN SALVADOR, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Close to 20 former Salvadoran officials and two businessmen are under investigation for ties to the diversion of $184 million from the state during ex-President Salvador Sanchez Ceren's administration, the attorney general's office said on Monday.

The investigation was announced in a series of tweets.

Among those under investigation, according to the attorney general's office, are two of Sanchez Ceren's former presidential aides: Manuel Arturo Ayala and Jorge Antonio Revelo.

The former presidential treasurer, Daysi Armida Diaz, is also under investigation.

Among the businessmen listed under investigation is Alexander Benitez, the owner of two local businesses where authorities allege the stolen money was sent.

The four people named by Reuters have been arrested and detained, according to the attorney general's office, which tweeted photos of them together in detention.

Reuters was unable to contact the accused or their lawyers after business hours.

"ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY THREE MILLION DOLLARS!" President Nayib Bukele wrote on Twitter in reaction to the news of the investigation.

Sanchez Seren was president from 2014 to 2019 and the immediate predecessor to Bukele.

Reporting by Nelson Renteria in San Salvador and Kylie Madry in Mexico City; Editing by Isabel Woodford and Jamie Freed

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