The Ecuadorian State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) reported this Wednesday that it will prosecute the former president of the South American country, Lenín Moreno, in the Ina Papers case.
The FGE referred to the case as “Sinhydro” because it involves a corruption network implicated in the construction of the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric project, developed by a Chinese company.
The attorney general, Diana Salazar, reported that she requested a date and time from the National Court of Justice (CNJ) to carry out the hearing to formulate charges for the alleged crime of bribery against 37 people, including the former president and his wife, Rocío González.
#URGENTE: #CasoSinohydro: #FiscalíaEc solicita fecha y hora para formular cargos contra 37 personas por presunto cohecho, relacionado con el proyecto hidroeléctrico #CocaCodoSinclair, conocido como caso #InaPapers.
Detalles ⬇️ https://t.co/ymRteh6qyk pic.twitter.com/MHP2XPzv7g
— Fiscalía Ecuador (@FiscaliaEcuador) February 22, 2023
The investigation also implicates the former president’s brothers, Edwin and Guillermo, his sisters-in-law Jaquelina V. and Martha G., his friends Conto Patiño and Xavier Macías, and Cai Rungo, the former Chinese ambassador in Ecuador, who also worked as manager of Sinohydro.
The amount of the alleged bribery is $76 million dollars , which would correspond to approximately 4% of the value contracted for the work, which, initially, was almost $2 billion, although, in practice, its cost exceeded 2.2 billion, 2,245 million, according to Salazar.
The Prosecutor’s Office alleges these tens of millions in bribes were delivered by Sinohydro and channeled through third parties as falsified receipts for services, consulting, and representation, and paid through gifts, checks, and transfers.
Complaint and opening of the case
The case was opened on March 28, 2019, almost two years after Moreno began his presidential term (2017-2021); after an article titled “The Offshore Labyrinth of the Presidential Circle” was published on the La Fuente website in February, 2019.
#LeninChao: Bitter Farewell to Lenín Moreno in the Streets of Ecuador and on Social Media
The case was referred to as the Ina Papers case in the media because it involves an offshore’ company named INA Investment Corporation with which several assets were acquired. The name of the company has been associated with the names of Moreno’s daughters Irina, Cristina, and Carina.
In addition to Ecuador, corrupt transactions were conducted through the INA firm in Panama, Spain, and Switzerland.
Since 2019, the attorney general indicated, “89 tax impulses, 80 versions, 465 information requests, 13 expert opinions, 13 private hearings, five raids, and 10 criminal assistance requested from countries such as Panama, Belize, Switzerland, China, USA, have been carried out.”
The alleged structure of corruption began in 2009 and lasted until 2018, during which time Moreno served as vice president of Ecuador (2007-2013), secretary-general’s special envoy on disability and accessibility for the United Nations (2013-2016), and then as president of Ecuador (2017-2021).
While he was vice president, Moreno allegedly facilitated a concession to Sinohydro for the construction of the hydroelectric plant.
Patiño, against whom charges will also be filed, appeared as a lobbyist and contractor for Sinohydro in Ecuador. In addition, he was the legal representative of another offshore company, Recorsa, through which he is alleged to have received millions of dollars from the Chinese firm, and from which he allegedly transferred money to more than 10 shell companies in Panama, including INA Investment Corp.
Controversy on Social Media After Lenín Moreno Says ‘I Wish I had a Better People’
Between 2012 and 2016, INA Investment Corporation managed accounts at Balboa Bank in Panama, from which it purchased expensive furniture, rugs, and other luxury items for Moreno’s apartment in Geneva (Switzerland) when he was serving as special envoy on disability and accessibility with the United Nations.
Additionally, from the same account, transfers were made for the purchase of an apartment in Alicante (Spain) with views of the Mediterranean.
Currently, Moreno serves as disability affairs commissioner for the Organization of American States (OAS), whose functions are exercised in Asunción, Paraguay.
On Wednesday, the former president of Ecuador published a statement condemning the process that the FGE decided to initiate against him, without referring to his relatives’ involvement in the case nor to the charges laid against him.
Comparto con ustedes mi posición respecto al anunció de la Fiscalía General. pic.twitter.com/tBduA7kxPE
— Lenín Moreno (@Lenin) February 22, 2023
“As I have said from the first day, I do not have nor did I have responsibility for the contracting of the ‘most emblematic’ work of the Citizen’s Revolution,” wrote Moreno. “The Coca Codo Sinclair project answered to the competent authorities at that time, while I exercised my duties as vice president with the sole responsibility of carrying out the Manuela Espejo program.”
In addition, he wrote that he was “surprised” that the Prosecutor’s announcement was issued “while Ecuador is going through complex moments” and when “Correísmo has declared itself the winner and the greatest political force in the country.”
Lenín Moreno was vice president during Rafael Correa’s presidency, and Correa himself endorsed his candidacy for the presidency. Upon taking office, Moreno betrayed all the socialist and progressive programs launched by Correa, dismantling Correa’s PAIS party, and embracing the International Monetary Fund and its economic shock doctrines, making him one of the least popular presidents in Ecuador’s recent history (he left office with a 9% approval rate) and dragging Ecuador into a profound economic crisis.
(RT) with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
orinocotribunehttps://orinocotribune.com/author/orinocotribune/March 30, 2023
orinocotribunehttps://orinocotribune.com/author/orinocotribune/March 28, 2023
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