Nicaragua’s Miss Universe franchise owner charged with conspiracy following pageant victory

NEW YORK - Nicaraguan police late on Saturday charged the owner of the local Miss Universe franchise with conspiracy, money laundering and spreading fake news, just weeks after the Central American nation’s first victory in the pageant. Authorities have accused Karen Celebertti, director of the Miss Nicaragua franchise, her husband and son with conspiracy against the government, according to a statement issued by the national police. Celebertti’s local Miss Universe organisation has been used to “turn pageants into political traps and political ambushes, financed by foreign agents,” the police statement said. Reuters was not immediately able to contact Celebertti or her representatives for comment. Celebertti was banned from entering the country on Oct. 21, and her husband and son have been detained in Nicaragua on accusations of conspiracy dating back to 2018. Authorities said they played a role in organizing anti-government protests. Nicaragua’s Sheynnis Palacios won the title of Miss Universe on Nov 18.

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