At least two reports with indications of criminal responsibility (IRP) sent by the Comptroller’s Office to the Prosecutor’s Office for the granting of qualifications in favor of Cable Andino -of the Telconet company, owned by Tomislav Topic and his son Jan-, as well as by a special examination of the contracts signed between the Ministry of Telecommunications and Telconet for the provision of connectivity in fiscal schools and social development agencies.
The special examinations that served as the basis for the presumption of unlawful acts were approved in 2018.
According to the report on the permit for the submarine cable, which was installed to expand the provision of Internet services in the country, the enabling title was granted to Cable Andino (also called Corpandino) “without complying with the regulatory requirements and without generation of income for the State “.
In the first instance, he argues, the documents of the application were not validated and the sustainability forms of the project were substituted, since initially they did not show any usefulness.
The auditors concluded that Cable Andino’s financial capacity for the submarine cable project was not demonstrated and that, instead, the company presented a guarantee granted by Telconet.
They also pointed out that Cable Andino, Telconet, Megadatos (from Tomislav’s sister, María Ljubica Topic) and Latamfiberhome (in which Telconet has shares) “belong to the same family group” and link “Telconet and Megadatos, to provide their service carriers, require the transmission of data that is provided by Andean Cable …, for which the optical fiber that is purchased from Latamfiberhome is used “.
At the Cable Andino facilities in Manta, the Comptroller’s Office did not find historical records of customer activation.
The report argues that the company did not report revenues “despite the fact that it sold all the capacity of the submarine cable”. Therefore, until July 31, 2017, the special exam cut, did not pay any value for 0.5% per year on billing, which would have caused an approximate loss of $ 1’008,000 per year.
Telconet executives contacted by this newspaper questioned the technical competence of the Comptroller’s auditors for this type of review and rejected the sources and formulas used by the control body to determine economic damage and to establish the irregularities described in the report.
In one of the answers sent last year to the Comptroller, Cable Andino manager, Javier Galarza, argues that “establish an alleged damage to the State (by wrongly applying a price of 2014 for a service different from that provided Corpandino) only that it would be illegal …, but that it would go against what is expressly established in article 3 of the enabling title “.
The decision on the relevance and legality of the permit granted to Cable Andino now belongs to the Telecommunications Regulation Agency (Arcotel); while the criminal investigation is in the Office of the Prosecutor.
On the provision of connectivity to schools, irregularities were also found. For example, the commission that rated the offers did not observe that the shareholders of two bidders, Telconet and Megadatos, are brothers.
4 GROUP COMPANIES
Have been appointed by the Comptroller: Telconet, Cable Andino, Megadatos and Latamfiberhom. (I)