The Colombian financial crime police noticed and tracked down a suspected money launderer by following her extravagant shopping sprees on Instagram.
Jenny Ambuila, a Colombian foreign national, was arrested by Colombian federal police for suspected money laundering. She posted many images of expensive purses and 5 star hotel stays in the EU as well as the purchase of two luxury cars – a Porsche Cayenne and bright-red Lamborghini Huracán – while unemployed in Miami. The two luxury cars were worth US$400,000. She was arrested at the El Dorado International Airport.
Not only was she unemployed – her father, who federal authorities say funded her lavish lifestyle, earned only $2,400 per year in Colombia. Not enough to pay for a plane ticket from Colombia to Miami for his daughter, let alone a house, two luxury vehicles and her many trips.
Her father, Omar Ambuila, is accused of accepting millions of dollars worth of bribes as a customs and port official with the Dirección de Impuestos y Aduanas Nacionales in Buenaventura, and allowing drug shipments to exit the country and merchandise to enter duty-free. The financial police believe that Ambuila funnelled the proceeds of crime through shell companies to the US.
Omar Ambuila, his wife and his daughter were charged with money laundering and corruption. The Colombian financial crime police have indicated that the Instagram posts will play a material part in proving evidence of money laundering.
The US government assisted the Colombia Fiscalia to trace the flow of funds, which suggests that anti-money laundering law reporting by US banks played an important part in this case.