US agents in 'prostitution' probe
A dozen US Secret Service agents sent to Colombia to provide security for President Barack Obama at an international summit have been relieved of duty over alleged misconduct.
Reports suggest the misconduct involved prostitutes in Cartagena, site of the Summit of the Americas. A Secret Service spokesman did not dispute that.
An unnamed US official put the number of agents sent home at 12 but the Secret Service did not disclose the number of personnel involved.
The incident threatened to overshadow Mr Obama's economic and trade agenda at the summit and embarrass the US. The White House had no comment, but also did not dispute the allegations.
In Washington, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan would not confirm that prostitution was involved, saying only that there had been "allegations of misconduct" made against Secret Service personnel in Cartagena for the summit.
He said the allegations of misconduct were related to activity before the President's arrival last night and did not impact on security plans for his trip.
Mr Obama attended a leaders' dinner at Cartagena's historic Spanish fortress and is due to attend summit meetings with regional leaders.
The Washington Post reported that Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, said the accusations related to at least one agent having involvement with prostitutes in Cartagena. The association represents federal law enforcement officers, including the Secret Service.
Mr Adler later said that he had heard there were allegations of prostitution, but he had no specific knowledge of any wrongdoing.
The agents were staying at Cartagena's Hotel Caribe, which is also hosting members of the White House staff and press corps during the summit.