"A person who is close to him lives here, we have convincing evidence that he maintained contacts with former Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino. He was detained this afternoon," TASS news quoted Ecuadorian Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo as saying.
Assange was arrested earlier in the day on Thursday, in London in connection with the INA paper leaks.
The INA papers are the cache of documents published in February 2019, allegedly uncovering the operations of INA Investment Corp., an offshore tax haven created by the brother of Ecuadorian President.
Assange had repeatedly suggested that he might be apprehended outside the embassy and extradited to the United States.
Over the past months, the Ecuadorian authorities were reportedly putting various restrictions on the conditions of Assange's stay in the embassy, which the whistleblower's defence termed as violation of human rights.
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