The corporate records of Florida (USA) show this. Armengol Cevallos Díaz, a subcontractor of Petroecuador, was linked to a US company that paid close to $ 1’000,000 to a Panamanian company that Álex Bravo Panchano used as a front for receiving bribes.
The payments were made in August 2015, when Bravo was project coordinator of the Esmeraldas Refinery, three months before he took over as general manager of the state oil company.
According to the US records, Armengol Cevallos appeared as director of the company Winsek USA Corp. between 2011 and 2013, along with José M. Cisneros and Grace L. Cisneros.
In January 2013, Cevallos left his position in that company and the other members stayed on the board.
The firm maintained that structure until September 2014, when it changed its name and administrators. Since then it was renamed EPS USA Corp. Los Cisneros left their positions and María J. De la Rosa assumed the functions of president, secretary and director.
The Panama Prosecutor’s Office accused Bravo and 22 other people of money laundering last year. The indictment alleges that EPS USA Corp. paid $ 925,000 to Girbra S.A., a Panamanian firm created by Álex Bravo.
According to the investigations, the US Company made three transfers to a Helm Bank account in Panama at the beginning of August 2015.
The prosecution did not determine the relationship between EPS USA Corp. with Armengol Cevallos nor its participation in Petroecuador’s contracts.
EL UNIVERSO published in January 2017 that two companies linked to Cevallos received $ 110 million in subcontracts to carry out works at the Esmeraldas and La Libertad refineries.
The main contractor for these works was the Spanish company Tesca, which had received $ 129 million in Petroecuador contracts, all signed by Carlos Pareja Yannuzzelli as refining manager.
That is to say that Tesca ceded 85% of its contracts to the companies linked to Cevallos.
One of the contracts ceded by Tesca was the one that amounted to $ 48 million for “the construction and assembly of three tanks to store NAO, NBE and diesel at Refinería Esmeraldas”. On that contract another complementary was signed that increased the price to $ 103 million. This increase was observed by the Comptroller.
Three years after receiving the original contract, Tesca transferred the work to the company Vestsacer, whose owner is Armengol Cevallos, for an amount of just $ 36 million.
In a tour that President Lenin Moreno made at the Esmeraldas Refinery in August of the previous year along with several media, it was evident that the three tanks were still under construction.
Damage was also observed in other tanks that Tesca had to maintain.
El Universo tried to locate Armengol Cevallos in Vestsacer S.A. An employee indicated that her boss was not there, hung up the phone and did not answer any more calls.
EL UNIVERSO also requested an interview with the Ecuadorian Public Prosecutor’s Office to learn about the legal situation of Cevallos and other persons named in the Panamanian accusation. The answer was that the attorney general, Paul Perez, canceled all interviews this week.
Cevallos is listed as the current director of another company in Florida: Seafood Emporium Llc. It is located on Sunny Isles Boulevard, an exclusive area of Miami.
Cevallos amassed a fortune in Ecuador. He was mobilized in a Robinson 66 helicopter. And he was building a mansion facing the sea, in Olón (Santa Elena), until the Petroecuador scandal came to light. (I)