Odebrecht has not yet told everything about the bribery scheme he set up. Before his exejecutivos began to cooperate with justice, hundreds of e-mails were erased from the encrypted Drousys system that the company designed to record illicit payments outside of its official accounting.
The elimination of communications was carried out in December 2014, when the Lava Jato case had already come to light. Six months later, Marcelo Odebrecht was arrested.
After the deletion, only the senders and mail items were registered. This information coincides with other documents that were not deleted and shows how Odebrecht used subcontracts to divert funds from works and finance their bribes.
Among the erased emails are some related to the Ruta Viva and the Quito Metro. According to these documents, Odebrecht diverted at least $ 7 million of these works to feed the bank accounts from which it paid bribes.
These are part of the revelations of a journalistic project coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). We analyzed more than 13,000 leaked Odebrecht documents, obtained by the portal La Posta. The files correspond to the Department of Structured Operations, which administered the illicit payments.
So far, Odebrecht has assured that it did not pay bribes for the works of the Municipality of Quito, although the archives give clues to the contrary.
According to the leaked documents, Odebrecht subcontracted several companies for the two phases of the Ruta Viva, which links Quito with Puembo, on the road to the Tababela airport. Through these subcontracts, the construction company diverted funds from that work to finance Structured Operations.
For Ruta Viva I, Likam Bouwwerken International BV was contracted, which in turn subcontracted Turcon Consulting and Engineering B.V. (both from Holland). Then, Turcon hired two others: Southern Cross Consulting & Engineering Services S.A. and Engetec Consulting Services.
For Ruta Viva II, a similar scheme was set up: Odebrecht hired Turcon and, after this company, a chain of subcontractors was formed. Thus, $ 2.08 million were diverted to enter them into Odebrecht’s double accounts.
What part of that money went to bribes and who received them?
The answer lies with the exejecutives of the construction company, especially José Conceicao Santos, who signed the first contract of the Ruta Viva.
Both works were awarded during the mayor’s office of Augusto Barrera (2009-13), when the manager of the Public Works Company (EPMMOP) was Germánico Pinto Troya and the manager of special projects, Santiago Játiva Ordóñez.
The latter has been on the run since July 2017 in the case against former minister Alecksey Mosquera, who received $ 1 million of Odebrecht bribes for the Toachi-Pilatón Hydroelectric contract. The Office of the Prosecutor linked Játiva in this proceeding for having received money from an offshore company in Mosquera.
Játiva chaired the two technical committees that recommended the hiring of Odebrecht for the two stretches of the Ruta Viva. Then, Germanico Pinto awarded and signed the contracts.
According to the Comptroller’s Office, Ruta Viva I and II were initially valued at $ 83 million and ended up costing $ 129 million.
Játiva’s lawyer, Germanic Maya, denied an interview because he said he has not had contact with his client. His brother, Mario Ricardo Játiva, who also worked at EPMMOP with Pinto, said he did not know where Santiago is.
When Santiago Játiva left the EPMMOP, he went to work in the Spanish construction company Puentes y Calzadas, which had the contract of the Municipality of Quito to build the bridges of the Ruta Viva. In this company they did not know how to indicate his whereabouts either. Germanic Pinto was sent the request by mail, after contacting him by phone, but he did not answer.
The Quito Metro
The leaked files tell a similar story about line 1 of the Quito Metro, a contract that Odebrecht obtained in consortium with Spain’s Acciona during the mayoralty of Mauricio Rodas (2014-2019). $ 5 million of that contract was diverted, divided into $ 3 million during the preparation of the proposal and $ 2 million after winning the contest.
Odebrecht signed a contract in November 2013 with Spain’s Eathisa Ingeniería y Servicios S.A., which in turn hired two additional companies to continue creating layers and lose the money route.
In July 2014 the envelopes for the Quito Metro were opened and the big surprise was that the amount of the offers exceeded the initial budget by $ 490 million. To meet the deficiency, it was decided to go to other international credit agencies, including the National Bank for Economic and Social Development of Brazil.
Some $ 283 million have already been invested in the Quito Metro
According to the leaked files, in 2014, Eathisa billed Odebrecht to put together the offer with which would participate in the tender. Then it was paid to Convergence Capital Partners B.V. and to Fortress Investors Ltd., in 2015.
In the files is the trace of a deleted mail, which details a payment related to the Quito Metro. The instruction was sent to Marcos de Queiroz Grillo, who managed the Department of Structured Operations. According to the document, the payment had to leave a Fortress Investors account in the Meinl Bank to another one of the same bank in Austria, identified with the number AT08192400100461649. But the beneficiary is unknown.
Due to its legal problems in the Lava Jato case, Odebrecht left the consortium and Acciona took over the Quito Metro.
The adjudication of this work was investigated by the prosecution and even the offices of the Quito Metro were searched. The then deputy prosecutor, Tania Moreno, filed the case in 2018. In this regard, the ex-manager of the municipal company Mauricio Anderson said: “They took my computer, audited my family assets, but found nothing.”
Mauricio Rodas defends Quito metro contract
The former mayor Rodas ruled out a surcharge on the work and emphasized that the pre-contractual process started in the previous administration.
Like Rodas and Anderson, former mayor Augusto Barrera stressed that the participation of multilateral banks in the bidding processes guaranteed their transparency. In the case of the Ruta Viva, Barrera revealed that these works were financed by the Andean Development Corporation, and that their ‘no objection’ was also needed to sign the contracts.
The fate of money
These subcontracting chains served to feed the accounts of several offshore companies in the Meinl Bank mainly, from which bribes were paid. According to the secret archives of Odebrecht, the Brazilian company used this diversion scheme with all the works contracted in Ecuador since 2012.
Odebrecht subcontracted to allied companies domiciled in several countries, all managed by Brazilians. They subcontracted to others and to others … The companies that were at the end of the chain sent money to the companies used to pay the bribes. Among these are Klienfeld Services Ltd. and Innovation Research Engineering and Development Ltd., mentioned in the judicial cases of Ecuador.