Customs has put the magnifying glass of the investigation into 45 cases of tradable international trade operations that demonstrate “unusual behavior”.
As a result of this task the company Acería Xinlong S.A., which is located in the canton of Milagro, was raided. According to the authorities, there are indications of crimes linked to officials of the previous regime. There is alleged money laundering, tax and customs fraud, as well as human rights violations and job insecurity, which is why the company was closed down.
The undersecretary of Political Action of the Presidency, Iván Granda, said that there are also 500 cases with indications of criminal responsibility, where 317 ex-employees of the previous regime are appointed, which is investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office.
Although Xinlong denies everything, the director of the National Customs Service of Ecuador, María Alejandra Muñoz, explained that this company imported machines and supplies for $ 30 million and that until yesterday they had not submitted the support documents. They have only declared imports for $ 413,000.
She added that the tax evasion of its shareholders is also being investigated, since there are revenues of $ 8 million and the declarations are only $ 3 million. He noted that $ 116,820 in cash was found at the time of the search.
On his side, the Labor Minister, Raul Ledesma, said that the company had 24 employees registered, but upon inspection they found more than 50, among them Venezuelans and Asians who did not have the legal documents to work in the country. In addition, without affiliation to the IESS.
Ledesma highlighted that workers received $ 15 for the day of work in cash.
In a video presented yesterday by the Government, the search was linked to the Xinlong company with “the corruption cases” that are being pursued against former Vice President Jorge Glas; his uncle, Ricardo Rivera; and the businessman Tomislav Topic. According to Undersecretary Granda, “there would be several elements of conviction that would exist for this relationship to be established”.
Yesterday there was also the response of two of the aforementioned. Eduardo Franco, legal prosecutor of Glas, maintained that there is no indication that relates the former vice president with the Chinese company, and that his client “does not know any of its officers or shareholders.”
For his part, Topic, through a statement, said it has no link with the company in question, or its partners. “That company, I understand, was raided on Friday, December 28 and it was corroborated in that raid that we have nothing to do with it,” he said.
Jorge Mayorga lawyer of company Xinlong
“There is no asset laundering, no front men”
What do you say about the accusations of tax evasion and job insecurity?
We agree that all necessary investigations are made to all companies. We agree with the fight against corruption. But concerning the statements of the authorities, we deny the relationship with the persons named. Criteria have been advanced. It may be that administratively there are issues that were in process. This is not a reason to indicate that there is money laundering.
The lawyer, answered the second question I had and not the one I asked him. Is the company closed due to tax fraud and job insecurity?
Yes, it is closed, and the complaint of the Senae before the Office of the Prosecutor provoked a search. The strange thing is that the immobilization seals were put on the door. They could not close the company as such, they had to put the stamp on the machinery.
Does Customs say that taxes have not been paid for $ 30 million of imports?
We will present the corresponding proofs and releases. (I)