The Prosecutor’s Office initiated a preliminary investigation into alleged irregularities detected in the concession of the Posorja Deep Water Port, in the province of Guayas, to the DP World company.
The investigation ordered by the attorney general, Ruth Palacios, is for alleged influence peddling. In the 29-page criminal complaint filed last month in the Office of the Prosecutor, 24 people are asked to investigate.
Among them the former president of the Republic, Rafael Correa, and the former legal secretary of the Presidency, Alexis Mera. In addition, authorities and former officials of the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, Port Authority of Guayaquil, Senplades and Undersecretary of Ports. Also to private entrepreneurs, such as the DP World representative, Michael Bentkey, who signed the contract.
According to the complainant, Carlos Figueroa, the Posorja contract was hand-delivered, since there was no contest, for which the law was allegedly violated. He assured that there was money transfer, environmental impact and that as the contract was signed a port monopoly would be generated in the country, at a disadvantage for Manta and Puerto Bolívar.
Luis Fernandez, Figueroa’s attorney, said that in this case there are also indications of other crimes, such as embezzlement, concussion and illicit enrichment. They warned that the complaint will also be filed with the Superintendency of Market Power and the Attorney General for the filing of the corresponding actions that include the review of the processes.
In June 2016, the Dubaiti firm received the 50-year concession from the State to build and operate the port with a total investment of $ 1.2 billion. The work started in July 2017 and it is estimated that it will start working in the second semester of 2019. (I)