Women in prostitute scandal ‘not tied to cartels’

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iol pic wld service secret REUTERS File photo - President Barack Obama walks to his limousine among members of the US Secret Service and White House staff upon his arrival in Cleveland, Ohio.

Washington - US Secret Service personnel implicated in a prostitution scandal in Colombia paid 10 of the 12 women they were involved with and none of the women were found to be connected to terrorism or drug cartels, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

Late on Tuesday, Secret Service officials submitted 24 pages of written answers to congressional committees investigating last month's scandal which occurred ahead of President Barack Obama's visit to Cartagena, the newspaper reported.

The Post reported that congressional officials who read the responses said the agency considered the document “law enforcement sensitive” and is asking the committees not to release it publicly.

Secret Service investigators have interviewed 10 of the 12 women involved - who range in age from 20 to 39 - and plan to speak with the others as well, the paper said.

At least three congressional committees are investigating the scandal.

Also on Tuesday, the Homeland Security Department inspector general's office told Congress it would review the incident.

Eight agents have left the Secret Service since the scandal broke, one had his security clearance revoked and three others were cleared of wrongdoing

Separately, an officer investigating the possible involvement of a dozen US troops in the incident has finished gathering evidence and is working on a report of his findings and recommendations, the US military said on Tuesday. - Reuters

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