A Brazilian drug lord has been living a life of luxury behind bars – with a three-room suite complete with library, conference room and plasma TV.
Jarvis Chimenes Pavao – one of South America’s most dangerous drug traffickers – was serving an eight-year sentence for money laundering at Tacumbu prison in Paraguay.
His surprising lifestyle was uncovered after a bomb was found inside the prison and police poured into the institution to investigate.
They found a three-room apartment complete with air conditioning, tiled walls, a DVD collection including a TV series about drug lord Pablo Escobar, a guitar, and several footballs.
In one cupboard police found six pairs of shoes, while in another were scores of T-shirts hanging on racks.
His lawyer Laura Acasuso said that corruption at the highest levels had allowed her client to live his luxury life.
She said “six or seven justice ministers and six or seven prison directors” took bribes from the drug lord.
His prison lifestyle was in stark contrast to other inmates at the jail, where food is scarce and violence is rife.
Justice minister Carla Bacigalupo has already been sacked and her replacement Ever Martinez has promised a crackdown.
He said: “We’re going to demolish Chimenes Pavao’s cell and take measures against the prison directors who allowed this inmate to enjoy these privileges.”
He has now been transferred to a cell in a special operations unit.
One prisoner said Pavao had paid for a football pitch and chapel at the prison, and employed inmates as bodyguards.
He added: “I don’t know what’s going to become of us without him.”
Another inmate, Antonio Gonzalez, said: “He was the most loved man in this prison.”
His lawyer added: “He never said he was a saint. But he was completing his sentence and helping out with the money he earns legally through his companies.”
She said he also paid for lodgings for prison directors, toilets for the guards, the renovation of the prison library and the cooks’ salaries.
Pavao was due for release next year, but faced extradition to Brazil on drug charges.
It is alleged that he was behind the prison bomb plot – hoping to blow a hole to allow him to escape.