Crooked Malaysian contractor 'Fat Leonard' arrested in Venezuela

5 days ago

A Malaysian defence contractor nicknamed 'Fat Leonard' who orchestrated 1 of the largest bribery scandals successful U.S. subject past has been arrested successful Venezuela aft fleeing earlier his sentencing, authorities said Wednesday.

The planetary manhunt for Leonard Glenn Francis ended with his apprehension by Venezuelan authorities Tuesday greeting astatine the Caracas airdrome arsenic helium was astir to committee an airplane for different country, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

Interpol Venezuela Director General Carlos Garate Rondon said successful a connection posted connected Instagram that Francis came to Venezuela from Mexico. Rondon said helium was headed to Russia.

The apprehension came connected the eve of his scheduled sentencing successful a national tribunal successful California for a bribery strategy that lasted much than a decennary and progressive dozens of U.S. Navy officers.

There was nary contiguous connection connected erstwhile helium mightiness beryllium extradited to the United States.

Francis was nether location apprehension successful San Diego erstwhile helium chopped disconnected his GPS ankle bracelet and escaped connected Sept. 4. Ten U.S. agencies searched for Francis and authorities issued a $40,000 reward for his arrest.

Leonard Francis, nicknamed 'Fat Leonard', is simply a 57-year-old Malaysian defence contractor that was precocious arrested successful Venezuela aft being connected the run

This undated photograph provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows Leonard Francis

U.S. authorities besides issued a reddish notice, which asks instrumentality enforcement worldwide to provisionally apprehension idiosyncratic with the anticipation of extradition. Malaysia and Singapore some person extradition agreements with the United States.

Francis pleaded blameworthy successful 2015 to offering prostitution services, luxury hotels, cigars, gourmet meals and much than $500,000 successful bribes to Navy officials and others to assistance his Singapore-based vessel servicing company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd. oregon GDMA. 

Prosecutors said the institution overcharged the Navy by astatine slightest $35 cardinal for servicing ships, galore of which were routed to ports helium controlled successful the Pacific.

Francis had been allowed to stay successful location confinement to person aesculapian attraction portion helium cooperated with the prosecution. With his help, prosecutors secured convictions of 33 of 34 defendants, including much than 2 twelve Navy officers.

The day of his sentencing had been enactment disconnected for years arsenic helium continued to assistance prosecutors. He was preparing to look connected the witnesser basal successful a proceedings earlier this twelvemonth to attest against 5 erstwhile naval officers, but helium was ne'er called.

Last year, helium boasted successful a podcast astir plying admirals with booze and prostitutes, and the saccharine informant woody helium struck with the US government. 

Francis is shown with Rear Admiral Bolivar, who was investigated arsenic portion of the scandal.  

Senior Navy officials pictured astatine a enactment Francis says helium threw for them successful his unofficial role

'Everybody was successful my pocket. I had them rolling astir successful my palm. I had the Navy by their balls. I turned my torpedo, my guns against them, due to the fact that they betrayed me,' Francis says successful 1 occurrence of a nine-part series.  

He besides revealed that the authorities had arranged for visas for his full family, saying: 'Everybody came legally. Uncle Sam knows, everybody knows what I'm doing. My children are my children. 

In 1 occurrence of the podcast, helium spoke proudly astir going aft Michael Misiewicz, a commandant who helium supplied with prostitutes successful Tokyo successful speech for concealed shipping routes to Australia. 

'Misciewicz had value, you know, helium was similar the fig 2 feline successful the scheduling department. 

'If you look astatine him, he's really a truly bully guy, precise gentle personality, friendly, large dada to his kids, womanizer...' Francis said, adding that his fig 2 - New Yorker Edmond Aruffo - 'embedded' him.

'They wanted to person the bully beingness that they could not have. They wanted the good dining, the good gifts, edifice rooms, sedans, luxury cars, watches, handbags, fancy meals, alcohol, cigars,' helium said.

Francis had infiltrated Misiewicz's household and friends portion helium was moving connected the USS Blue Ridge retired of Manila successful 2011. 

He gave him and his household tickets to the Lion King successful Tokyo, bought his woman Marcy a Gucci handbag erstwhile she became suspicious of him, and arranged for Michael to slumber with prostitutes successful Tokyo connected a regular basis. 

The strategy came crashing down successful 2013 aft Marcy Misiewicz, Michael's wife, suspected helium was cheating connected her and confronted him. He struck her and she reported it to the NCIS, which started filtering done Michael's emails. 

Among them were exchanges with Francis, wherever Michael had supplied concealed shipping routes to Australia. 

Francis, who had a spy successful the NCIS, recovered retired and tried to placate her but helium was yet arrested, on with Misiewicz, who was sentenced to 7 years successful prison. 

Francis besides suggested that immoderate of the astir elder admirals helium corrupted were being protected by the Navy, a assertion that is bolstered by the information that immoderate were disciplined successful subject courts, whereas others were pursued by the Department of Justice.  

Leonard Glenn Francis aka Fat Leonard adjacent purchased a decommissioned British warship, renamed it the Glenn Braveheart (pictured), and occasionally turned it into a elephantine enactment boat

Fat Leonard, aka Leonard Glenn Francis, connected his warship - the USS Braveheart - which helium bought. He is obsessed with American civilization and speaks with an American accent, contempt ne'er having lived successful the US astatine the time

The Braveheart, Fat Leonard's warship, which helium bought successful 2003, was utilized arsenic a 'floating brothel', according to immoderate of those interviewed arsenic portion of the investigation 

'Some of the much elder admirals got handled by the Navy due to the fact that past they tin beryllium brushed nether the carpet, it's small much than a slap connected the wrist, they telephone it 'different spanks for antithetic ranks'. 

'If you're an admiral you don't get punished to the aforesaid grade arsenic if you're junior,' Wright said. 

The lawsuit has resulted successful national transgression charges against 34 Navy officials, defence contractors, including Francis, and the Glenn Defense Marine Asia corporation. 

So far, 26 of those person pleaded blameworthy and galore person been sentenced to respective years successful prison.

U.S. Navy Capt. Daniel Dusek, center, handed implicit classified vessel schedules and steered craft carriers to gross ports controlled by Glenn Defense successful instrumentality for prostitutes, intoxicant and stays astatine luxury hotels

Navy Rear Admiral Robert Gilbeau (left) was sentenced to 18 months successful situation and Commander Michael Misiewicz (right) was sentenced to six years

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