In January 2019 there will be a new sentence in the case of bribes in Petroecuador, but it will be in the United States. Juan Andres Baquerizo Escobar, of the Oil Services & Solutions (OSS) company, pleaded guilty to money laundering in the Florida proceeding against him and his sentence will be heard on the 18th of next month.
According to the statement signed by Baquerizo Escobar and his lawyer, the bribes paid to Petroecuador employees reached $ 1.72 million between 2012 and 2016, with a view to obtaining public contracts.
OSS performed works at the Esmeraldas and La Libertad refineries for $ 37.8 million.
This case was one of the revelations that EL UNIVERSO published in 2016 within the series of the Panama Papers.
Among the leaked documents of the Mossack Fonseca study there was an agreement signed between Arkdale Investments Limited, whose beneficiary was Baquerizo Escobar, and Girbra S.A., constituted by Petroecuador general manager, Álex Bravo Panchano.
The Florida Court document dates back to last September and recounts four events in which the former contractor participated.
He details that Baquerizo conspired with other people, including a Petroecuador official (he is called Officer A) to put together the bribery scheme.
For this, it is reported, Baquerizo and his accomplices registered screen companies in the Bahamas and Panama, opened bank accounts in Panama and Switzerland under the names of those companies and sent the bribes to Panamanian accounts in the name of companies of the so-called Official A.
Thus, between February 2014 and November 2015, Baquerizo sent six transfers amounting approximately $ 1’123,678 to Panama and Switzerland, the document added.
Due to the revelations of the Panama Papers and the investigations in Ecuador, Panama and Switzerland, it is known that this money went to the companies of Bravo Panchano: Girbra S.A. and Gevabra S.A.
In addition, Baquerizo’s statement in Florida indicates that, between August and December 2015, he ordered other people to send $ 400,000 to accounts of Officer A and that he sold him a screen company to transfer $ 500,000 in February 2016. , money that came from bribes.
Finally, according to the document, in February 2016, Officer A asked Baquerizo to send $ 600,000 of the bribe proceeds to an IOTA real estate trust account in the southern district of Florida.
Arturo Escobar, the ex-adviser of Petroecuador who has also pleaded guilty and was already convicted in Miami, informed Baquerizo at the time that this money would be used to acquire an apartment in Florida for a character called Officer B, as indeed it happened.
The money was transferred in two parts. In February, $ 400,000 was sent to the trust and $ 200,000 to the account of an intermediary in the United States, who deposited them in the trust in March.
“When he transferred the funds to, from and through bank accounts in the United States, Panama and Switzerland, the defendant knew that the money was the product of illegal activities and that the transfers were trying to promote the scheme of bribes,” said the document. , signed by representatives of the US Department of Justice.
According to the Panama Papers, Juan Baquerizo Escobar registered through the lawyer Carlos Mata Hanze the firm Arkdale Investments Limited, in the Bahamas, which was the one that signed the agreement with the Panamanian Girbra S.A., of Bravo. The agreement said that for every bill that Girbra got for Arkdale, a commission of 10% would be paid. The initial payment was $ 600 thousand.
Arkdale, in turn, was related to the Liscard Foundation (of Panama) and Grand View Assets Limited (of New Zealand), and both included Juan Andrés Baquerizo as the final beneficiary.
His older brother, Jaime Alberto Baquerizo Escobar, who also appeared in the OSS contractor, had the companies Syrafleur Consultants Inc. (of the Bahamas) and Lake View Properties Limited (of New Zealand).
According to the files of Mossack Fonseca (Mossfon), Jaime Baquerizo managed the Panamanian account of Eston Trading Limited, which was where the commission of one dollar per barrel from Petroecuador’s first oil sale to Petrochina in 2009 was deposited.
Before the bank closed the account as suspicious, the money was transferred as follows: $ 11 million to Livingston Financial Corp., to a JP Morgan Miami account; $ 300 thousand to Naparina Corp. S.A. of businessman Enrique Cadena Marín, and $ 100 thousand to OSS, through an investment in the Stock Exchange of Guayaquil.
In a communication, Baquerizo assured Mossfon executives that Naparina Corp. was behind Livingston. Now, Jaime Baquerizo is in Peru.
One of the executives of Mossack Fonseca who participated in the negotiation, Ramses Owens Saad, was accused in USA for another case.
This newspaper asked for an interview with the lawyer of Juan Andrés Baquerizo, but did not get an answer. (I)