The Comptroller’s Office established that Cable Andino, the company that was granted the qualification for the installation of infrastructure and exploitation of the submarine cable, did not report revenues to the State between June 30, 2015 and July 31, 2017 calculated an annual loss of USD 1 million.
The company recognizes that 2015 did not invoice anything and says that since 2016 it pays without problems. Javier Galarza, its manager, told this newspaper that USD 22 784.7 has been paid to date. This corresponds, he said, to 0.5% of the billing of services and 1% of Universal Service.
This company was incorporated on November 22, 2012 in Manta and on May 23, 2014 it requested permission to operate, through the international access to the Pacific Caribbean Cable System (PCCS) cable, to the former Secretary of Telecommunications, Jaime Guerrero.
After a year, Ana Proaño, former director of the Telecommunications Regulation and Control Agency (Arcotel), granted the qualification title for a renewable term of 20 years. But until July 31, 2017, when the exam was concluded, the Comptroller’s auditors observed that the firm had sold the entire capacity of the cable and did not declare any income.
Galarza explained that the revenues amount to USD 1.5 million and have been declared to the Superintendence of Companies and the Telecommunications Regulation and Control Agency (Arcotel).
On the other hand, the audit concluded that the company made sales to Telconet for amounts lower than those fixed in the proposal it delivered in the period of granting the concession permit.
After an inspection at the Manta station, it was also found that it did not comply with a historical record of customer activation, it was not possible to verify the capacity assigned to each one, the assignment dates, the routes, the type of services and the billing.
Galarza responded that there is no norm that forces them to keep a historical record in the station and for safety issues in this industry is handled with codes. The Office of the Comptroller General also confirmed that the firm did not demonstrate – before obtaining the qualifying title – financial solvency or provided support to guarantee the projection of revenues in excess of USD 12 million per year.
The financial statements of 2012 and 2013 show income and results at zero. At this point, the auditors blamed the public authorities for not having observed the lack of economic capacity and having passed the project from non-viable to feasible.
According to Galarza, the economic capacity was solved with a joint guarantee from Telconet and an Alcatel certificate, confirming that the payments were insured. He added that as every new company began with resources from its shareholders and that their contribution has been increasing by more than USD 2.5 million, between 2012-2014.
Cable Andino has Telconet and the businessman Igor Krochin as shareholders. Telconet, in turn, registers as partners Tomislav Topic and his son Jan. Both are investigated by the Prosecutor for alleged money laundering and have just agreed with the UAFE the return of USD 13.5 million without substantiating its origin, which they were used to make capital increases for Telconet.
In the operative part, Telconet provides telecommunications services with the data transmission that Cable Andino gives it and for this it uses the optical fiber purchased from the company: Latamfiberhome, which also has Telconet and the Chinese Fiberhome Telecomunication Technologies as shareholder, open the May 22, 2014, on the Duran road.
These more Megadatos companies are from the same family group and have been growing, mainly as State suppliers
In the process of illicit association with Odebrecht, in which former Vice President Jorge Glas and his uncle Ricardo Rivera were sentenced, there are messages from Tomislav Topic to Rivera asking the “VP” to call three agencies to ask them to expedite the concession process.
The emails are from April 2013, before granting permission to Cable Andino. Galarza clarified that no administrative officer maintained communication with Rivera and that there was a meeting with Glas, in which he offered all his support, but “it never materialized because all the institutions carried out the procedures in advance and following the laws and rules of the case.
Between 2012 and August 2015. These messages and the findings of the Comptroller’s Office are analyzed by the Office of the Attorney General for four months, when the report was sent with criminal evidence. For his part, Ricardo Freire, from Arcotel, said he is steeping himself in the topic for an interview next week. (I)