Sunday, September 5, 2010

Queen of Coffee Nabbed & indicted

Former lingerie model from the Colombian city of Barranquilla, Angie Sanclemente Valencia, was arrested on May 26, 2010, after being on-the-run since December 2009. Valencia, who is accused of running one of the biggest drug-trafficking operations in the world, was captured by Airport Security forces in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Valencia had been hiding out in Buenos Aires since December, when airport police caught a 21-year-old Argentine woman with 55 kilograms of cocaine in her baggage boarding a flight to Cancun. That led to arrests of six other alleged gang members; all of whom implicated Valencia as being the ring-leader. Judge Marcelo Aguinsky issued the international warrant for the beauty queen soon after.

During her period in hiding, Valencia declared her innocence on Facebook. Her mother, Jeannette Valencia, flew in from Colombia some weeks ago to protest her innocence as well. “She is no drug trafficker, nor is she the queen of cocaine,” she declared after the arrest. “There are bad intentions—a plot against her,” she added. Judicial authorities have rejected a request for special treatment from her lawyer, Guillermo Tiscornia, who said Valencia had not turned herself in for fear that her looks would expose her to rape or other mistreatment in a common Argentine prison. “They will rape her...they will cut her face,” her mother asserted.

Valencia was dubbed “The Queen of Coffee” after winning her country’s National Coffee Queen beauty pageant in 2000. She was stripped of her crown, however, when it was discovered she was married at the time, which was in violation of pageant rules. Valencia, 30, was formally charged with “attempted aggravated contraband” for her alleged part in a ring dedicated to international drug trafficking from Argentina to Europe via Mexico. Valencia was indicted recently by Judge Rafael Caputo, who also ordered the seizure of goods owned by Valencia in the amount of $3.2 million dollars. Police were able to determine Valencia’s identity because she had made quite an impression upon her arrival in Argentina, flying first class with a Pomeranian dog, an official said. Valencia posed as a college student from Mexico, she was traveling under the name “Annie,” she had dyed her hair blonde, and she put on weight to evade capture.

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