The Americas

Salvador prosecutors: $246M embezzled while Saca president

FILE - In this  June 1, 2009, file photo, on his last day as President of El Salvador, Tony Saca and his wife, Ana Ligia de Saca, arrive at the inauguration ceremony of the new president of El Salvador Mauricio Funes in San Salvador. Prosecutors said Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, that Ex-President Saca has been arrested for alleged illicit enrichment, unlawful association and money laundering. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, File)

FILE - In this June 1, 2009, file photo, on his last day as President of El Salvador, Tony Saca and his wife, Ana Ligia de Saca, arrive at the inauguration ceremony of the new president of El Salvador Mauricio Funes in San Salvador. Prosecutors said Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, that Ex-President Saca has been arrested for alleged illicit enrichment, unlawful association and money laundering. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, File)  (The Associated Press)

Prosecutors in El Salvador say government officials embezzled at least $246 million during President Tony Saca's 2004-2009 administration.

The head of the prosecutors' financial investigations office says $116 million in government cash was transferred to accounts held by employees of the president's office and was later channeled to private firms. Jorge Cortez says some of the money went to Saca's businesses.

Saca was arrested Saturday. The former radio sports announcer faces charges of alleged illicit enrichment, unlawful association and money laundering.

Police said six former officials in his government were also arrested.

Former President Mauricio Funes, who succeeded Saca, is under investigation for corruption. Funes has taken asylum in Nicaragua.

Another former president, Francisco Flores, died last January while awaiting trial for allegedly diverting millions of dollars in earthquake aid.