March 1, 2021

Panama will investigate the alleged payment of Odebrecht bribes for airport works

New revelations that have leaked about the case of Odebrecht bribes in Panama, such as the illicit payment of more than $ 7 million in the expansion works of the Tocumen International Airport, have led to the announcement of an investigation by the Government Panamanian.

"The new manager" has already been instructed by the airport to start an audit, Panamanian Vice President José Gabriel Carrizo told reporters today about the supposed payment of more than 7 million in bribes for the expansion. of Tocumen.

The details of the illegal payments related to this work are part of the new leaks about the bribes of Odebrecht of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), based in Washington, to which the local newspaper La Prensa had access on Wednesday. published a list of these inquiries.

According to this publication, of the Tocumen expansion, Odebrecht paid about 7.2 million dollars in bribes in 24 transactions between 2014 and 2015.

This, says La Prensa, "despite the fact that the company denies that these payments were made to award works, it was found that part of the tender document came from the computer of one of its executives."

This is the fifth addendum to the specifications of the project published on the Panamá Compra portal in 2012 and for which there is a complaint, said the current airport administration, the newspaper said.

In this portal there are documents of the tender of the new terminal of Tocumen "indications that the public act was arranged in favor of Odebrecht", which was awarded the work after beating China Harbor Engineering Company, bidding 743 million.

He stressed that this work was the fourth of ten awarded to the Brazilian company, where, it, "took more money for bribes, according to an analysis of more than 13 thousand documents of the Structured Operations Sector (SOE) or bribery department "of the construction company.

The newspaper added that according to the investigations the calculations of the payment of bribes by Odebrecht to Panamanian officials exceed 100 million dollars.

In addition to the bribes, the possible diversion of local works funds by Odebrecht, destined to the bribery department, was identified through the alleged subcontracting of companies that billed Odebrecht for works they had not done.

Among these is the International Project Company (Cipsa), which charged millions for alleged services to the Tocumen airport and the sanitation of the bay, while transferring funds to Odebrecht, the newspaper said.

La Prensa indicated that Odebrecht clarified that "the mention of a work in the Drousys – one of the computer systems supposedly used by the Brazilian company – does not imply that it is in payment for its adjudication or that the payments made to persons identified with an alias they are illegal ".

This, the publication recalled, despite the fact that Odebrecht admitted in a guilty plea that the SOE "functioned as a bribery department."

Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo said last Monday that the Odebrecht scandal is "unforgivable" and has done "untold damage" to the region and to Panama, one of the countries where the Brazilian transnational confessed to having paid bribes to get contracts.

"What Odebrecht did (with the bribes), not only Panama and the region, is unforgivable," the Panamanian president said in an interview with the US network CNN en Español.

Cortizo stressed that the Odebrecht bribery scheme continues its process in Panamanian justice, with which the construction company reached a cooperation agreement "involving all the people who were part of all these corruption operations."

(tagsToTranslate) Panama (t) will investigate (t) course (t) Odebrecht (t) airport

Source link