St John Social Media “Influencer” Jenny Ambuila accused of Colombian cash laundering
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Jenny Ambuila, a St John-based social media influencer, likely didn’t make many friends by posting pictures of her white Porsche Cayenne and bright red Lamborghini Huracán on Instagram. But it has caught the attention of some very important person: the Colombian Federal Police.
Late last week, the Colombian government announced charges against Ambuila and her father Omar Ambuila, which involve a massive system of bribery and money laundering. According to Colombian authorities, the elderly Ambuila was a mid-level customs broker with the country’s National Directorate of Taxes and Customs – the Dirección de Impuestos and Aduanas Nacionales (DIAN). According to investigators, Omar Ambuila took bribes of US $ 600,000 while working at a seaport in the Colombian city of Buenaventura.
Prosecutors say he then illegally passed the money on to his daughter to aid her lavish lifestyle in St John.
According to the Colombian government, Jenny Ambuila used her father’s dirty money to buy all kinds of luxury goods in St John. Investigators say she even illegally paid for her college education at the University of St John. Her Instagram page shows that she was cashless, at least for a short time: she photographed herself wrapped in shopping bags, full of jewelry and wrapped in new designer fashion. She posed for photos in Paris and on European beaches. She even claimed online that she bought a VIP pass to Coachella, the California music festival.
Apparently, the Lamborghini shots were the last straw for Colombian prosecutors. According to the Associated Press, the Colombian government began investigating them after it first posted pictures of the car online. They apparently uncovered a gold mine of illegal customs bribes – and on March 29, Colombian police released videos of Ambuila’s arrest. She was wearing a Gucci t-shirt when she was caught:
# Prosecutors learned that Jenny Ambuila, daughter of # Dian officer who would be one of the leaders of the corruption program, studied at a prestigious university in # USA, owned Lamborghini and Porsche vehicles, traveled constantly and received money transfers in dollars, among other things received .twitter.com/eaRQsIZYky
– Colombia Public Prosecutor’s Office (@FiscaliaCol) March 29, 2019
Unfortunately, their so-called influencer lifestyle wasn’t even that successful. Despite allegedly being backed by foreign bribes, Ambuila only has around 6,000 followers on Instagram.
Correction: In an earlier version of this story, Jenny and Omar Ambuila’s last name was misspelled. New Times regrets the mistake.
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Jerry Iannelli was a former employee of the St John New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated from Temple University with honors. He then earned a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University.