Luxury and houses in Barranquilla: how a Colombian doctor laundered money

Luxury and houses in Barranquilla: how a Colombian doctor laundered money
Luxury and houses in Barranquilla: how a Colombian doctor laundered money

Samir Rivaldo and Yesica Donado led – according to the prosecution – a true mafia of fraudulent medical licenses. Their business grew to such a point that not only did they have to hire other foreign doctors to issue them for them, but they also used white sticks to launder the money. At least that is what is stipulated in the accusation presented by the investigators who recently detected million-dollar diversions of money abroad and the purchase of a luxurious house in Barranquilla. The damage to the Chilean treasury, caused by its paper companies, amounts to over 26.6 billion pesos.

Samir Rivaldo Hernández not only acquired three houses in Barranquilla Colombia. He also got cars and bought more than $356 million pesos in dollars. He flaunted a drug life: Dolce & Gabbana sneakers engraved with his name, personalized jewelry, and bundles of cash.

He became a true magnate of ideologically false medical licenses. He and his wife, Yesica Donado Alvis. Both surgeons and leaders of the criminal organization that – according to the Public Ministry – managed to sustain for at least two years.

Their illegal business was based on issuing licenses without even knowing or seeing the patients. To make it more real and lasting, they created various paper medical societies from which only money came and went.

Rivaldo and Donado’s biggest scheme was to get foreign doctors to issue and sell medical licenses on a piece-rate basis. Their criminal structure, investigators point out, was also based on using front men to purchase goods. Samir’s own mother was one of them.

Today, the Public Ministry requests 28 years in prison for each of them.

Cars and houses

With everything that Samir and Yesica’s marriage earned, they managed to multiply their assets.

“The nature of the illicit activity carried out by the defendants over the years generated millions in profits, which have meant a significant increase in assets, mainly in the acquisition of assets with said resources, such as real estate and motor vehicles,” details the accusation filed by the High Complexity and Organized Crime prosecutor, Alvaro Pérez Galleguillos.

This means that the leader of the gang bought at least two houses in Barranquilla. One, using the figure of his mother, Luz Marina, as a front man. And the other, with his name. The latter is the most luxurious. The Mediterranean-style home is located in a wealthy sector of the Caribbean city.

Additionally, his partner Yesica acquired a third home in the same area.

“All the properties were paid for with illicit money generated in Chile, as a result of the fraudulent issuance of medical licenses,” the complaint stipulates.

The above was proven because he sent dollars to Colombia through payment orders from the accounts of his medical companies Dr. Mitite SPA and Servimed SPA.

Samir is also listed with two vehicles that were purchased through another front man. Two Hyundais that are around $6 million each.

When the Investigative Police arrested them, they seized safes with bundles of $10,000, new iPhones and laptops. They also had luxury clothing and gold jewelry.

The doctor’s banking analysis demonstrates the high amounts he handled. Much of it ended up in remittances sent to Colombia, where his sister and her mother were the main beneficiaries. The papers state that both received 52 money transfers for $20 million.

Added to that were other transfers to seven different people who received more than $1 million each. This includes Samir himself who banked himself 29 times. In 2021 alone, his offshore account had transactions worth more than $7.3 million.

Other financial institutions such as Khipu and Western Union reported that the defendant dispatched more than $31 million pesos between 2021 and 2022.

In Chile he also had accounts at Banco de Chile and Santander. Its current account summarized its deposits and credits at $1,308 million. One of the highest amounts was the “payment of investments”, but to date the Prosecutor’s Office cannot detail what it is about.

“It is not possible to establish whether each of these investment operations come from an individual action or whether there is a prior rescue,” the complaint states.

All of this is linked to the fact that Samir Rivaldo received a salary from the Municipal Education and Health Corporation of the Municipality of San Bernardo. From March to May 2020, he received $7.1 million because it was the municipality itself that hired him at a health facility.

“The defendant mixed in his bank accounts money that he received from legal activities, with income from illegal actions, such as the payment generated by the sale of fraudulent medical licenses. “This fact, he sought to hide or disguise the real origin of his funds, contaminating any use that was given to that money.”

Finally. Samir made 30 foreign currency purchases. The dollars he obtained reach $356 million pesos.

“Patients” under the magnifying glass

Yesica Donado is not far behind either. Her transactions to the tropical country total more than $20 million. And his deposits and payments with his Chilean accounts reach more than $428 million pesos.

With all the background information, the Eastern Prosecutor’s Office determined that Yesica and Samir were the leaders of this criminal organization. Both they and the other foreign doctors who issued piece-rate medical licenses are charged. Of the 30 involved, 7 were remanded in preventive detention.

Likewise, the people who purchased the largest number of licenses are also under the eye of the Public Ministry. It was the Minister of Health who at the time declared that they would be prosecuted for benefiting from fraudulent use and receiving money from Fonasa.

By Sandra Martínez Tapia

BBCL Investigates

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