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US interviews Colombian prostitute in Madrid

Last Updated: Friday, May 11, 2012 - 16:45

Washington: US government investigators interviewed the Colombia prostitute at the centre of a Secret Service prostitution scandal that cost eight officers and supervisors their jobs and became an election-year embarrassment for the Obama administration.

Dania Londono Suarez voluntarily met with investigators at the US embassy in Madrid, agency spokesman Edwin Donovan said. He said the Secret Service investigation was nearly complete. More than 200 people, including most of the women involved, have been interviewed in the United States and Colombia.

Londono mysteriously disappeared days after the incident and could not be reached by investigators.

In a radio and television interview from Madrid on May 04, Londono said she works as a prostitute in Colombia, catering to foreigners. She said after leaving Colombia, she spent some time in Dubai before going to Madrid.

Londono said she met a drunken Secret Service employee at a club in Cartagena, Colombia, last month and escorted him back to his hotel after a night of partying.

"I told him it would be USD 800 and he said that was fine and not a problem," Londono said in Spanish. The next morning, however, the officer refused to pay, offering her only about USD 30 for a taxi.

Londono said she was insulted and tried for several hours to get paid, eventually asking a local police officer at the hotel for help.

She said the argument ended when other Secret Service officers at the Hotel Caribe paid her about USD 250. The officers were in Colombia in advance of President Barack Obama`s arrival for a South American summit.

Prostitution is legal in Colombia.

A dozen employees have been implicated since the April 12 argument became public. Eight people, including two supervisors, have lost their jobs.

The agency is moving to revoke permanently the security clearance for one other employee, and three others have been cleared of serious wrongdoing. Twelve military personnel also have been implicated.

PTI

First Published: Friday, May 11, 2012 - 16:45
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